MicroPro Computers is an SME based in Rathfarnham, Dublin. MicroPro has carried out extensive work on the development of the iameco range of ecological PC’s, as Partner in 4 EU R&D Projects[i] as well as other Irish EPA funded Projects. The iameco D4R tablet has been developed as part of the Sustainably Smart Project, and this was successfully designed and manufactured in a small batch of 30 tablets by the end of the project (). The 30 prototypes have been subsequently circulated for testing, accreditation, and consultation with selected stakeholders. We now wish to progress the development and commercialisation of this Tablet with a small number of Partners, through a Bid to the H2020 Fast Track to Innovation Programme for market penetration of thiis products. This Bid must be submitted by If not successful, there will be another opportunity to represent It is our intention to present early, in order to have the chance to modify and improve if necessary.
The iameco D4R tablet is aimed at meeting growing demand in the IT market for products that are demonstratively ecological and sustainable. Several background studies have indicated that a growing proportion of IT consumers are not satisfied with the built-in obsolescence and lack of life-cycle sustainability of mainstream IT products, in particular factors that promote obsolescence and short use life (average computer life is currently 3 years). These include:
- designs that make disassembly, repair, self-repair, and upgrading difficult, leading to obsolescence and waste
- specification of parts and materials that make ruse and recycling difficult or impossible
- specification of materials that have high embedded energy and carbon or are harmful to health or polluting to the environment
- lack of after-sales support (repair, upgrading, take-back) to ensure a longer product life
The iameco D4R tablet has been designed and manufactured to address these issues, as well as building on a number of innovative factors, aimed at attracting a growing client base:
- Simple and logical design principles, coupled with high-end functionality
- Attractive and well-crafted design, using renewable and recycled materials
- A service model aiming to set in place local support for customers in repair, upgrading and replacement of their tablets.
The proposed iameco Go2 Market Bid to the FTI Programme to include:
In order to progress this Bid, MicroPro is seeking a small number of selected Partners to complete the Consortium. The skills and roles that we are looking for in these Partners are as follows:
Role and type of Partners sought
The iameco tablet will be accompanied by a life-cycle service model, based on partnership working with a network of service centers in a number of EU and other countries. This network will initially focus on Europe but will later expand to other regions. The service agents will be franchised and trained by MicroPro to provide a local repair, upgrading replacement and take-back service, to ensure the longer life and commitment to zero-waste principles are implemented. The service model will also provide additional training, works and growth opportunities to SMEs in different countries, and enhance the level of customer feedback received.
Companies (ideally working in IT) with experience of life-cycle service provision for electronic products, ideally with wide regional coverage.
MicroPro is proposing an incremental growth model, where relatively small quantities of the product are manufactured and marketed. The digital model of design and manufacture will make such small-scale production financially viable. As the market grows, the number of units produced may be increased, but at the same time, design improvements arising from earlier batches may be incorporated into later batches without significant extra investment or obsolescence.
Companies with experience of developing circular service models, such as long-term service agreements and warranties, leasing, etc.
MicroPro is working on existing information and customer feedback that indicates that there is a substantial and growing sector of consumers that would prefer a computer that can clearly be demonstrated to be environmental. This design is transparently based on the various eco-design characteristics described above. As pressure on consumers and industry due to the failure of industry to adequately address Climate; MicroPro will be able to demonstrate a growing market for a computer that can demonstrate real environmental benefits. In addition to this, there are medium- and long-term benefits to costumers in terms of cost (due to repairability, upgradability and life extension). The product will promote a lifestyle culture, among customers, that will be backed up by regular press information, events and newsletters, which will support a growing loyalty to the products and its design and manufacture principles
Marketing companies with skills and infrastructure international marketing.
The recommended size of a Consortium is 5 partners, the majority being industry patterns. The maximum budget amount is € 3 Million of which industry Partners will receive 70% and non-industry (public or not for profit) partners will receive 100% grant funding. Fraunhofer IZN has already indicated an interest in participating.
MicroPro is looking for expressions of interest from 1 additional potential industry or non-industry partner who has expertise in one or more of the areas mentioned above and would be interested in collaborating and contribute to the drafting and provide details as Partners.
Given the very short timescale to the Call deadline (June 9th, 2020), please let me know by e-mail no later than Wed. 15th March 2020 if you are in principle interested or call me on the numbers below to discuss.
Tel (+353) 28 21890
Mobile (+353) 86 8224429
[i] Project Heatsun (Life Environment) ZeroWin (FP7 Environment), LCA to Go (FP7 Environment) and SustainablySMART (H2020 Factories of the Future)