PART a: IDENTIFICATION OF R&D Result
· The project team
|Advisor’s Name:||Department of Technologies and Materials and Department of Electrical Engineering|
|Expecting date of valorization plan submission:||15.12.2011|
· Identification of R&D activity
|Author of the R&D result:||Drd. Eng. Dumitru Violeta Dumitru|
|Company or University:||UNIVERSITY OF CRAIOVA, ROMANIA|
|Sector:||ENG – Engineering|
|Type of the R&D result:||Product|
PART B: valorisation plan
SECTION I: The product
|The innovation potential of this product is related to:
|The product analyzed and evaluated, “modular robotic system”, with multiple spherical joints, high dexterity, compatible with minimally invasive surgery (small size, light weight, is keeping the previous configuration; the drive mechanism is located outside the robotic arm), is a new product.
A patent is submitted to the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks – OSIM Bucharest.
|What added value for end-users does the product hold?
• higher quality
• Better technical characteristics
• Other …Ce valoare adăugată asigură produsul pentru consumatorii finali?
• o calitate mai ridicată
• caracteristici tehnice mai bune
• Altele …
|Compared to conventional surgery, robot-assisted surgery (robotic system modulated with flexible elements), provides high quality to medical care, by significantly reducing patient’s hospitalization and recovery time. Also, subject to observing a proper technique, it offers several clear advantages, namely: small incisions (10-15 mm), minimum aesthetic damage, and quick recovery.
This research is pioneering new surgical techniques (minimally invasive surgery, tele-surgery) and consequently better quality to health and life.
|What is the Unique Sales Proposition of the potential product?
Main feature of modular robotic system that distinguishes it in the surgeons’ preferences is high dexterity of poly-articulated robotic arm. The surgeon, seated at a control console, is moving with high accuracy different surgical instruments, in any spot within operating area. From this area, by means of a miniature medical video camera, images are broadcasted via a monitor (or more) through which the operators are controlling the surgery.
In terms of the Framework Programme FP7, the European Parliament Decision (Brussels, 2005) states that it is required to take measures enabling the EU to achieve its objectives set by the Kyoto Protocol, namely, providing innovative products and green technologies, which ensure health, life and environmental protection.
In this sense, human health is the main directive. This is achieved by promoting robot-assisted surgical procedures.
SECTION 2: The Market
|What is the target market for the product? National ¨European ¨Global ¨
Please describe the characteristics of your target market.
|Select and commentThe product addresses a broad range of consumers within domestic market area, but it can be also designed for foreign markets (Europe, world). The target groups are:
1. surgeons, especially from state and private medical organizations, for minimally invasive inspection and exploration in anatomical environments with many restrictions and direct access, namely:
- Thoracoscopic surgery (thoracic cavity);
- Arthroscopic surgery (in the articulations);
- Intra-pericardial interventions (within the heart).
2. operators in the automotive industry, precision mechanics and electronics, for subtle handling and positioning of small loads, activities behind obstacles and areas difficult to reach, explorations in remote and dangerous areas.3. educational institutions and researchRomanian economic environment will benefit indirectly from research results through innovative companies that are open to assimilation of new products and clean technologies.
The main characteristic of target market is its sustained dynamism. It is the results of high rates of development in the production of medical devices that simultaneously supplies the market with goods (as supplier), and absorption of goods on the market (as a consumer). The balance between supply and demand is usually weak as a result of permanent competition between market players.
Target market is oriented towards diversity, variety, change and constant renewal in terms of medical devices. Surgeons’ requirements are deeply and quickly changing, from one surgeon to another. So, this diversity must result from product offer too. Also, clients’ ethical behavior is in constant change, it is manifested in: product design, prices balance, and compliance of advertising with reality, attitude and behavior towards manufacturers.
On the other hand, there is a change in consumers’ lives too, which is prone to satisfaction of higher quality needs, which is reflected in the groups of products used for health, sports, recreation, etc. It is achieved by placing innovative new products on the market, over short intervals of time.
|How the product is characterized from the following options? Number of companies producing similar products in the field.• Base – applied by all companies in the industry• Leading – applied by a single or limited number of competitive companies• Key –at a development stage, but has already proven its potential|
|Detailed commentTo set-up constructive solutions of poly-articulated robotic system a comparative analysis was made on constructive technological and economic parameters, on several types and sizes of such medical systems, thus proposing a simple and convenient solution to exploit the robotic system. Also there were identified the key elements of consumer behavior, purchasing and main market segment.Taking into account the technical characteristics and product performance, market characteristics, consumers’ needs and desires, the product “modular robotic system” can be considered a basic product – used by all companies in that industry.This product has very good behavior and can be proposed to manufacture its prototype, as well as series manufacturing, by (2) companies producing similar products in the field, and (3) in other areas (land, space, water).|
|What type of market demand will be satisfied?• Existing demand – the market is already developed• Hidden (latent) demand – the market has yet to be developed|
|Detailed commentThe product, as the most important element of the marketing mix, as regards the option of what “we would sell” points of view “what we sell” – is the seller’s point of view, while the buyer’s points of view are “what I want to buy”.The product “modular robotic system” may satisfy existing market demand (the market is already developed). The destiny of the new product is influenced mainly by commercial environment where is placed. They identified five categories of people who adopt the new product:
- persons with a strong financial position (2.5% of market);
- opinion leaders (13.5% of the market);
- people who accept innovations rather quickly (30% of market);
- skeptical persons who accept the new product through social pressures (34% of the market);
- persons suspicious of innovations (10% of the market).On the Romanian market and global market, it sells medical devices designed and manufactured by reputable companies such as Tokyo Institute of Technology, CONRO USA, Distributed Systems Design Research Group, Japan. All these systems are limited as regards dexterity of poly-articulated robotic arm. However, these companies could be interested in manufacturing the new product, as potential producers.
|What is the current stage of the product’s market life cycle?• Implementation, implementation in production (leading to a radically new product offers)• Growth (rapid spread within the industry or outside it)• maturity (parameters of the technical characteristics of manufactured products reached their maximum, higher-grade products can be manufactured on the basis of technological substitution)|
|Detailed commentThe results of the research were used to work out the execution project stage DE (u) of a modular robotic system for prototyping and experimentation. Geometric configuration and dimensions (diameter 14.5 mm, length 202 mm) are depending on diameter of available ports for minimal invasive interventions (2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 13 or 15). Constructive solutions, manufacturing technologies and motion sequences have resulted from experimental research. Thus, by using standardized and normalized elements and by reducing poor materials, the product cost was minimized as early as the design stage.Consequently, the product is based on new technology and current state of the life cycle on the market is under implementation in production, which will lead to a radical offer of a new product.|
|Strategic partnerships (existing or potential).
|Detailed commentAlthough there is a big enough market competition in terms of medical robotic systems, the product “modular robotic system with flexible elements” has a well defined target group. Simplicity and small size are advantageous for reliability, safety, quick installation and ease of use, which in the context of European requirements are required by companies and industries.Currently, there is no strategic partnership to promote this new product and on domestic and international market.|
SECTION 3: The Competition
|3a||What is the competition within your target market?|
|Detailed commentCompetition has different forms and intensities depending on the type of market (domestic, foreign), the object of market activity, the specific circumstances of each period. The balance between supply and demand is usually weak because of a permanent competition between players in market activity.
In medical devices area, many production companies are acting. But the target market for miniature surgical robots is continuously developing.
Worldwide concern for integration of robotic systems in surgery has become a requirement in minimal invasive surgery, motivated by small incisions (10-15 mm), accuracy, reliability, low costs of hospitalization.
In the poly-articulated robotic systems, competition within target market is acting in the following major trends:
- Making poly-articulated robotic arms with very small diameters;
- Serpent-type bending section;
- High bandwidth actuation systems.Simplicity and small size are advantageous for reliability, safety, ease of installation and operation.
|What competitive advantages will the introduction of the new product ensure?• lower prices based on lower production costs• product differentiation (uniqueness of the product proposal)|
|Detailed commentPoly-articulated miniature robots are successfully competing in terms of cost and technical performance reported to standard medical robots. As a result, global production of surgical robots worldwide has increased rapidly by reaching a 4-10% annual steady growth.
Modularization of these systems is their chance to win the market, as reliable and efficient alternative, not only through reliability, but especially through development of standardized modules.
This approach will quickly lead to lower price of product cost, increase of flexibility and maintainability, as well as perfect adaptability to the working environment.
Also, the novelty and originality of new product represents a competitive advantage over similar products.
Compared to conventional surgery, robot-assisted surgery that is using poly-articulated mechanical systems is significantly reducing hospitalization and recovery periods for patients.
|Potential products relate to the following price range:• High price range• Average price range• Low price range|
Economic sizing was based on information on standards of product cost (materials, manufacturing, labour).
As early as the design stage of new product, the research method of value engineering was targeted to identifying and achieving more efficiently the required product functions for minimal cost, without affecting sacrificing quality, reliability, and performances.
Thus, technical solutions resulted with cost efficiency and improve functional parameters. In terms of cost reduction important results were achieved, finally achieving a cost reduction of 20% on average. Also, additional costs related to research, design, implementation and testing should be considered.
Thus, the product falls within the class of medium price products. After launching in manufacturing, costs should be adjusted due to lower production costs and significantly increasing sales in the coming years.
|Potential products will be marketed:• To regulated markets (e.g. heat supply, water supply, universal telecommunication services, agricultural products, fishing industry, architectural services)• To markets operating on the principle of free negotiation between agents on the market|
To promote the product, is necessary to set-up an appropriate strategy for advertising and publicity. Advertising is focused on spreading of information meant to express and influence a group of people to buy products. Advertising is about communication, presentation or providing specific information.Product life cycle changes place and type of promotion tools. Thus, over the initial stage the messages should be sent to publicize product characteristics, to inform potential buyers, while sales promotion is required over the expansion stage. In this respect, it is recommended the strategy to directly attract final consumers.
In general, the advertising means are accompanying the product and they contain information or instructions for use &maintenance (brochures, leaflets, information labels). They enable laying the ground for advertising means by using also technical and laboratory data. These materials are required to inform consumers, and also for sales documentation to ensure proper conduct of the operations contract. The way of combining advertising with sales promotion could ensure customer’s loyalty.
SECTION 4: Indicators
|Estimated cost of the new products
|Expected market volume (potential / maximum number of users)
|Expected sales volume
|Expected market share of the company (proportion between sales and total company sales in the relevant market)
KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).
Please put X as appropriate.
|Size of future market demand
|Competitive positioning of the producti||X|
We agree that all informations contained in this form to be made public in the project „Inter-regional cooperation for valorization of research results – INTERVALUE”, by publication on the project website: http://www.urenio.org/intervalue/.
Suntem de acord ca informaţiile cuprinse în acest formular să fie făcute publice în cadrul proiectului „Inter-regional cooperation for valorization of research results – INTERVALUE”, prin publicarea lor pe site-ul proiectului, la adresa: http://www.urenio.org/intervalue/.