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Amphiro en-Gage Report Summary

Project ID: 781829

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Amphiro en-Gage (Amphiro en-Gage: Technology for a Smart and Sustainable Use of Hot Water)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Amphiro has developed and proven the world's first complete IoT-stack for the digitalization of drinking water faucets. The technology fits to every faucet and includes energy-autarkic modules that measure, communicate, and display water and heat energy consumption in real-time and at the point of use. It also includes cloud storage and analytics tools as well as APIs and customizable smart phone apps.
The IoT-stack enables mass market applications that monitor personal energy and water consumption at the point of use and thus to promote hygiene, water and energy efficiency as well as data-based services in the private and commercial sector.
The first proof-of-concept product, a consumption feedback-device for showers, has been sold over 40 000 times and demonstrated its quality in the field.
All hardware modules are completely powered by water flow and can easily be retrofitted by end-users or integrated by OEMs into mass market faucets. Amphiro addresses a market of environmentally aware and technology affine customers, supplies products to efficiency campaigns, and simultaneously builds up an excellent position to deliver components for the digitalization of drinking water systems.

This SME Instrument phase-1 project helped Amphiro to further develop the network capability for digital services and to probe several variations of a business model, select the best approach, and define for phase 2 the required, accompanying apps and analytics services.

The detailed assessment of the market needs and trends in this phase-1-project, the durability of the solution in the field, the long-term effects achieved, and last but not least the sales figures achieved assert the viability of the business. Moreover, feedback from virtually all leading faucet and fitting manufacturers led to the extension the business plan that now, in addition to the retrofit products, also includes business from selling licences and service to producers of mass market faucets for an integration in their products portfolio.

The project shall be continued and extended by offering the technology stack to faucet and fitting manufacturers in support of the digital transformation of their product and service portfolio.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The goal of the SME Instrument phase-1 project was to derive the insights for an empirically validated business plan and to define the development path for accompanying digital services.

A sales analytics platform was implemented for empirical testing under real market conditions. Insights were derived via survey widgets, tracking pixels and cookies with the help of t-tests, standard ANOVAs and data exports from the web shop system in use.

To refine the value proposition and customer focus, textual and visual variations of the customer approach were tested in A/B-tests using online advertising, also coupled with rebates in the form of vouchers. This refinement took place under real sales conditions.

Six business model variatios were challenged and evaluated in discussion rounds with C-level executives from the faucet and fitting industry and VC investors active in the IoT domain. The results were compiled to an empirically informed assessment of each of the business model variants. Amphiro will pursue the following revenue models: direct sales (B2C), sales to campaigns (B2B), services for campaigns (B2B) and system integration and platform provider (B2B).

The project achieved to prototype digital services and define the requirements to achieve the readiness of hardware and software for digital services in TRL 8-9 in a subsequent phase. This includes the advancement of the hardware towards always-on capability using a Amphiro-to-WLAN bridge and the prototyping of real-time monitoring for water and heat energy flows. Testing of this prototype will be carried out in a 400 apartment testbed setting starting in April 2018.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The socio-economic impact of installing a smart shower monitor in a household was investigated and studied in more than 3500 households so far. The average savings amount to 440 kWh of heat energy and 7500 liters of drinking water per household and year. In other words, the direct real-time feedback on the consumption of hot water in the shower has an effect on par with the substitution of all incandescent light bulbs of a household by LEDs.

The impacts of this project contribute to policy objectives: The innovation leads to high carbon reductions (directive 1291/2013 for societal challenge), offers an excellent return on investment both financially and from a life-cycle-perspective, increases empowerment of the citizens, and aids direct job creation (development, production and fulfillment) and social welfare in Europe.

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