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Plastic straws with liquid fertilizer for potted house plants feeding
Chromosome Group Ltd. is a young company that operates in the field of agriculture technology. It was founded with the intention to offer products that are based on the innovation of local experts, with a focus towards ecology, organic food production and
Chromosome Group Ltd. is a young company that operates in the field of agriculture technology. It was founded with the intention to offer products that are based on the innovation of local experts, with a focus towards ecology, organic food production and environmental protection.
The vision of the company is to become a research center with fast prototype development that lives and grow on intellectual properties.
Chromosome Group’s mission is achieving a leading position in the country on the market of house plant fertilizers and establishment of the DUO CLICK as a new brand on the market that comprises the line of products that comply both with ecology and modern life style.
Company goal is to focus on research and development through the protection and licensing of intellectual property. This approach would enable forming of a company that has top experts, which would enable to create conditions for the introduction of advanced technologies.
To change the habits of people it is usually necessary to offer a solution that will be of interest for a long period of time, or until introducement of product that will completely replace most of the present solutions. In this sense, our company decided to introduce a product designed for potted house plant nutrition in the form of plastic straws filled with liquid fertilizer.
Since the idea was born, up to now, it has been four and a half years passed, and during that time we have developed the entire technology, fertilizer, special packaging and prototype of manufacturing machinery.
In order to show to co-workers that we have serious intentions to grow the business, in the very beginning that it was based on research we went through the protection of intellectual property rights. On that basis significant resource has been invested. During the studies conducted numerous experiments on obtaining fertilizer that could in small dosage of 5ml well affect the plant, which would contribute to a special package in the form of plastic tubing to justify its existence.
After more than a year of research has finally proven that the right solution exists, and also the path for further research has been established. Based on the results gained, an insight into the product characteristics that potential partners should have in its program, this provided the means to identify individual contributors.
During development of plastic straws as packaging, we did not stop at the beginning; we have upgraded the system for the controlled release of content - micro filter. With this improvement is achieved exactly the result we wanted in the beginning, and that is nutritioning of potted house plants, small and large, with the same concentration of fertilizers in the period of 20-30 days, using a single plastic straw.
In order to obtain insight into the reactions of people, we distributed many samples ranging from relatives and friends until it reached the people who are engaged in the distribution, after whose demands led to the need for constructing a device for the production.
After the quite ambitious start of the work, as time went on, we realized that there are many problems to be resolved before the final product goes into production. In the first place it was necessary to obtain precise work of devise with plastic straws weighing 0.5 grams. Since mid-2010, following two years were devoted to solving these problems. After so much of effort result came as a functional prototype, for which patent protection has been filed. As evidence of our determination to continue to develop and expand this idea we filed applications to Fund for Innovation for the program Activity in early development, with a desire to succeed in our efforts and enter the world market with a complete range of brand.
Marko Kostic, founder of the Chromosome Group from his childhood has showed great creativity and desire to succeed in innovation. By entering undergraduate and now as PhD student at the Faculty of Agriculture his energy is more directed towards the improvement of the area of science.
Strength of our company is based on investment in intellectual property of the founder, given for dispose to the company, and developed prototype that will soon become commercially used. Since no financial investment is crucial to the experience and skills of the founder, as well as great support by his colleagues and associates.
Patent application for the device for production P-2012/0368 “Device for filling, hermetical closing and packaging tubular reservoirs” has patent pending status,
Patent application for final product P-2010/0576 “The device in form of tube filled with liquid for feeding and/or protection product, the process of obtaining the device and its use” has patent pending status
Included with PCT application PCT/RS2011/000017 “A tube shaped device filled with a liquid means for the plants nutrition and / or protection, a process of this device construction and its usage”,
Protected trade mark “DUO CLICK” under registries number 63723
All intellectual rights are property of the company founder Kostić Marko and the Contract of exclusive license by the will come to force by approval of funds by the Innovation Fund and the rights will be transferred automatically to the company Chromosome Group Ltd.
In the future development of the intellectual property, as up to now, it is insisted on keeping all the rights, as it is confirmed by the contract.
From a basic idea to completing a functional technological process with quality final product it took four and a half years. As the result of passed intensive work, prototype of device for automated plastic straw filling, sealing and packaging production, have been developed. The plastic straw is filled with liquid fertilizer and packed into customized Styrofoam insert, with which is placed in designed cardboard cover box.
Plastic straw have integrated terminal micro filters, that allow subsequent and prolonged fertilizer release in the soil, so the nutrition of the plant is equalized in treatment time. The plastic straw is used by opening the one side, then inserting into the soil nears the plant root, following the opening the second tip after which the fertilizer is slowly released. The advantages of this manner constructed packaging are lesser quantity of fertilizer used and faster contact of plant roots since the fertilizer gets immediately into the zone of root system. Another big advantage is in avoidance of potential contact of user with the straw content. This moment has important value due to skeptic approach of users in getting in contact with products for plant nutrition, that here is completely avoided. Many house plant growers often make mistakes in dosage of the fertilizer by using the commercially available conventional fertilizer which is avoided by using our product. By use of this product all disadvantages of conventional fertilizers could be avoided and final consumer is completely protected.
The fertilizer was developed during 2009 by the Chromosome Group Ltd. company founder, who is crop protection engineer and PhD student at Agricultural Faculty in Belgrade. During 2010 and 2011 numerous experiments in glasshouse and in the field have been carried out for the conformation of good quality, optimal dosage and safety of the product. The ultimate goal of the research was development of universal fertilizer that can be safely used an every potted house plant and that is finally achieved. Concentration and dosage are optimized for the potted house plants and the product can be applied every 20-30 days during the whole year. New protected brand name “DUO CLICK” is formed that will communicates with customers with idea “Simple, user and ecologically friendly with high quality”, that is completely in line with the modern lifestyle.
From the mid of 2010 until 2012 prototype of the device for making the final product has been improved for which in the august of 2012 patent application has been submitted.
The prototype of an automated device for the production of plastic straws filled with fertilizer, which is the subject of this competition, it was made exclusively for the specific demands of the invention as a final product – plastic straws filled with liquids and as such represents an unique invention.
Additional advantages of the device is reflected in the possibility of using different compounds and liquid substances, expanding its basic purpose, especially in the food industry, for e.g., the packaging juices for dissolution, and aroma (ex. vanilla sticks), in medicine and chemistry for making cheap vials, as well as many others.
For customers, the final product innovations or plastic straw with fertilizer is reflected in the fact that the very structure of packaging prevents contact with the contents of plastic straw, the size of the containers to use in pots of all sizes, the micro filter evenly over a longer period of time release agent.
The amount of fertilizer in one packaging is a 50ml or 5ml in ten per plastic straw, as seen from competition point of view it is less at least two or more times. Although this could be taken as the main disadvantage, from the point of use, this is not so important in view of the needs of the target user. According to our research, a single dose of plastic straw feeding potted house plant for a period of 20-30 days, depending on its size. The most similar competing product has the four dispensers, each with 30ml and other disadvantages, as mentioned as advantages in our case.
The company operates in agriculture and trade in chemical products, and founded with the aim of producing and placing invention of plastic straw filled with liquid fertilizer to feed potted house plants. The technology was developed over a four and a half years.
Company development is planning in two directions, first is the sale and licensing of products and the second is sale of equipment for production. In this sense, a device for the production and the final product as straw with fertilizer, are two inseparable entities.
Opening of new markets are possible in several areas, because the technology is not limited to applications in agriculture, but also chemistry, medicine, food industry and anywhere else you can use this type of packaging. If we look from the perspective of plastic straws packaging products represent the closest laboratory vials, and if we look from the perspective of prices, on the market there is not a cheaper packaging.
Segment belongs to whom the product is intended for hobby flowers and nutrition program is classified as consumer goods. It is intended primarily to women, based on market analysis conducted substantially interested in men. By age group issued both up from 30 to 65 years. As the product is not harmful to health and the environment, there are no restrictions on the purchase, so that the placement can take place through the malls, shops, and other stores. The product provides maximum comfort of usage, in the sense that all the final user has to do is to put straw on a monthly basis in a pot. Precise dosing removed the factor of human error, and packaging design prevents the user from coming into contact with fertilizer. The above mentioned factors have a strong influence on consumer awareness.
Entry into the domestic market is provided by interested vendors who make a request for quantities of 10,000 packages per month, while the current prototype system can provide only 2,500. According to estimates of distributors, this amount can grow to several times, but it must simultaneously invest in marketing.
Competition in the broader sense to the final product is very present and these include all the solid and liquid fertilizers on the market. In direct competition situation is completely different, at least when it comes to the domestic market. Here we see our product only one competitor, whose product, and if in the solid state, is in the form of bars, which can easily be confused with the straws too. We do not expect the arrival of new competitions any time soon, primarily because of the high price of their products.
The rest of the market does not have innovative products and uses a conventional bottle packaging that is distinguished only by a greater volume. Relative to price retail, price is on par with the direct competition.
On the Serbian market of fertilizers, differing from the countries in the region, network of distributors of all famous world producers of fertilizers exists for many years. Most of them we could see as potential collaborators for broadening the potential market out of the borders of Serbia and with some of them negotiations already started. For entrance into the foreign markets in potential partnerships with collaboration with producers, sharing of the licenses are often assumed, by which material means for broadening the intellectual property could be collected. For domestic market collaboration will be made for final product distribution and marketing.
The performance of our company is related to the research and development supported by the protection of intellectual property. Careful monitoring of the market and constant communication with current and potential partners will give guidance and funding for the development of new products.
Guaranteed funding in the early stages of company development is secured by orders of 10,000 packs at month level, but the distributors will have to wait some time for the current capacity of 2,500 raise to meet the demand. Given that production work with recently completed prototype that is still in the testing phase, it is not possible to guarantee the uniform and constant production, with what the distributors are informed and with which they agree.
Few outstanding possibilities concerning funds that we might consider to use during the 2013 program year, is opportunities provided by SIEPA and PKS, for fair and expo promotion, and USAID for marketing.
For development of a new device we have signed a "Contracts on business and technical cooperation" with companies Micro Control, Best Pneumatics, Enel and plan to include Festo. These companies are able to provide almost all components for the development of new device. Due to advance technology of these companies and their large market presence in the world, the new device meets numerous certificates and service warranties.
Marko Kostic
Chromosome Group Ltd.