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H2020

VIRIDIS MIST Report Summary

Project ID: 774582

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VIRIDIS MIST (A toxin-free, food-safe, autonomous mobile misting disinfection system that eradicates pathogenswithin 5 minutes and gives residual protection for 24 hours reducing the need for water and antibiotics)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

WHO estimates that bacteria, toxins and allergens in fresh and processed vegetables, beef/poultry, dairy, eggs, seafood/fish and grains causes >200 different diseases,600million cases of illnesses and 420,000deaths annually. Diarrhoeal-diseases cause 550million of these cases and 230,000deaths.

Disinfectants are relied on as last line-of-defence against these ever-evolving bacteria and viruses–however due to current-chemistry and application-methods used they come with inherent disadvantages of leaving toxic-residue (QACs/Chlorates), contribution to antimicrobial-resistance due to excessive use of prophylactic-antibiotics, failure to offer residual protection (due to instantaneous evaporation), and inconsistent & incomplete application (e.g. non-adhesion to vertical-surfaces, not reaching under machinery and cervices).

A recently introduced Biocide-Product-Regulation(BPR) set maximum-residue-levels(MRLs) for QACs used in disinfectants of 0.1mg/kg. Defra is currently revising MRLs for chlorates too. In the case of biocidal actives that are already patrolled under Plant-Protection-Product(PPP) regulations, problem similar to that with QACs may arise, further restricting availability of disinfectants.

Considering more stringent regulations and short-term/long-term disadvantages of existing disinfectants, there is urgent demand to revolutionise our disinfection practices.

We (RBT-Ltd) are developing a disinfectant platform (VIRIDIS-MIST) to eradicate bacterial pathogens/spoilage-organisms/viruses without using QACs/chlorates. VIRIDIS used at only 1%concentration is immediately effective against harmful pathogens and leaves behind a nontoxic residual-barrier that is effective for ~24hours on abrasive-surfaces and >7days on undisturbed-areas. VIRIDIS-MIST is targeted at the whole FDA sector while using ‘Poultry’ as route-to-market where drivers to increase productivity and reduce product-recalls, bird-mortality, and antibiotic costs are the highest.

Our platform has two components;
1-Formulation-disintegrates microorganism’s cell-wall to bleed it out and eradicate
2- Mobile-Misting System- produces ‘dry mist’ of 2-10µm covering every surface in a room including over and under machinery, hard-abrasion work surfaces, vertical-panels, ceilings, and ventilation/air-conditioning systems.

To date, we’ve developed and successfully tested the key-benefits of VIRIDIS formulation in different forms (wipes, hand-hygiene, spray-bottles and concentrate) in food and drinks sector Initial customer feedback from Randall Parker Foods and Kuipers demands an updated formulation targeting all bacteria (including gram-negative); Campden BRI, Defra, EPA and FDA approved; and deployable through a mobile-misting-system to provide disinfection-accuracy and control, flexibility of use and match the existing industry-standard-disinfection protocols.
Our formulation has been tested through a localised application, however it has neither been proven or validated to work with a mobile-misting-system in relative-industrial-environment. Therefore, we need to develop a new mobile-misting-system capability in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and re-configure our base-formulation to work with misting-system followed by validation testing, mandatory-accreditations and end-user approvals.

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

After undertaking relevant activities, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the likely technical criteria and price point of the VIRIDIS MIST demanded by the food processors and suppliers in the entire food continuum. Where food producers are under pressure to improve antibiotic stewardship but are being squeezed by slim margins at the same time. Whole room disinfection solutions such as chemical ‘fogging’ and more recently ‘fumigation’ have been seen as a partial solution but neither of these completely solved the problem of bacteria in food preparation areas satisfactorily. Considering the imminent stricter regulations, short and long-term drawbacks of existing disinfectants, there is urgent demand to revolutionise our disinfection practices within the whole ‘farm to fork’ food production chain, these are the main buying drivers for our disinfectant platform.

The Phase 1 grant has enabled us to complete an in-depth market study, on completion of which, having reviewed and analysed the data collected, we conclude that there is a viable market opportunity for VIRIDIS MIST in the FDA sectors. From our contact with Randall Parker Foods, ABP Foods, Kuipers, Tydstroom, Chemisphere, Unisan; we have already begun developing what is likely to become our initial route to market.

This Phase 1 study has also confirmed our freedom to operate and have highlighted at-least 2 areas of potential new IP which will be evaluated further during the Phase 2 project.

Whilst the aim is to lease the mobile misting systems to the global FDA sector, we first need to convince all market segments of the technology, so we will be required to build a 50 prototypes during the phase 2 project. We have successfully mapped out the development partners (The MTC, Harper Adams University, Rutland Plastics) to enable us to evaluate the overall system performance and its output into the targeted market segments. We have also confirmed the interest of early adopters to perform end user testing during the Phase2 project.

In planning the further development programme for VIRIDIS MIST, we gained a clear understanding of the work required to develop to TRL9. We have built a work plan that is manageable, affordable and realistic to achieve. During the preparation of the Phase 2 proposal, it is envisaged that further refinements will be made to the structure and cost, to deliver a robust plan for scale-up and commercialisation.

The global FDA market is large enough to support more than one competing solution, therefore we consider that the threat of competing viable alternatives also reaching the market does not constitute a major barrier to successful commercialisation by RBT (though this is an area that must be monitored to assure the sustainability of the business). As a result of this Phase 1 project, we have been able to review our business strategy, and to construct a robust business plan, with realistic and achievable financial forecasts.

RBT will therefore proceed with our plans to reach market as soon as possible, in order to capitalise on timing of key market drivers, and establish VIRIDIS MIST as the technology of choice for disinfection, and to bring our business plan to fruition.

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)

State-of-the-art(SoA): Main competitors identified are Byotrol, Holchem, Ecolab, Diversey, Sealed Air, CCL, Pentasol, Zenith and Klenzan. All use traditional QACs/Chlorates based disinfectant and application methods of fogging and fumigation. Fogging reduces airborne-microbial-population by ~3log-orders in 30-60minutes but it has minimal effect on vertical-surfaces and underneath equipment. Fumigation allows product to reach all surfaces and is highly effective if using Ozone and H2O2; but has disadvantages of using volatile/dangerous products, no residual-efficacy and application-time of ~1hour with additional-time needed to allow chemicals to dissipate to safe working-level.

VRIDIS-MIST has following advantages against state-of-the-art;
- 99.9999% effective against all pathogens within 5minutes of application in a in 5mx3mx2m room
- 100% coverage of all exposed, horizontal and vertical surfaces.
- 90% Faster Room Disinfection (1,500m2 in 15minutes)
- Continues to protect for 24hours when dry, over 7days on undisturbed areas.
- Water savings in excess of 80%
- Completely safe to use in food-preparation areas.

WIDER IMPACTS:
Resellers and contractors:
• Avoidance of losses related to from shrinking product offering (due to tightening regulation).
• Based on ingredient list and application method we will be able to deliver VIRIDIS MIST at a price point which is lower than a fixed misting system and a similar price to conventional disinfectants.
• Reduction in labour due to autonomy – one button press.
• Increase in market share by using VIRIDIS’s USPs and green credentials to persuade customers

European Farmers: VIRIDIS-MIST will allow the European farmers to be more competitive as they reduce spoilage/mortality rates by at least 10% and increase productivity through sustainable agriculture, improved livestock healthcare, reduced antibiotic costs and enabling ‘produce-more-for-less’ by reducing the waste.
Political – VIRIDIS will offer national governments, the EC and other bodies the opportunity to begin or continue tightening toxin regulations in the food chain to meet their own goals –without damaging the plethora of industries that rely on disinfectants.

Economic – VIRIDIS will reduce antimicrobial resistance through lower usage which is now an economic problem as well as a health issue.

Social/ Regional – VIRIDIS will assist rural communities, strengthening their capacity for primary production, by allowing them to disinfect more efficiently and economically. This in turn will promote cohesion of rural areas and prevent economic and social marginalization.

Technological – Disrupting ‘whole room disinfection’ spurring competition and further innovation.

Legal – VIRIDIS will assist producers, farmers and suppliers (mainly SMEs) to conform to national and EU regulation.

Environmental – VIRIDIS will assist in reducing the level of toxins from entering the food chain and water sources as well as make improvements in animal welfare through rigorous and ongoing disinfection that VIRIDIS offers.

Societal: VIRIDIS will reduce unsafe food related illnesses which affect >500,000/Yr in the UK alone. It will assist British Society to practice the WHO Five Keys to Safer Food at home, or when trading (at restaurants or at local markets). VIRIDIS will ensure safe food supply which supports national economies, trade & tourism, contributes to food & nutrition security, & underpin sustainable development.    

Water savings: VIRIDIS-formulation is delivered as dry-mist which not only enables it to reach each available surface, but it also reduces the quantity of disinfectant required which in turn enables 80% water savings as compared to state-of-the-art disinfectants.

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