Market analysis for a simulated microgravity random positioning machine
Abstract: The impact of gravity on organic material such as the human body has been a growing research field ever since the dawn of space flight. The Random Positioning Machine (RPM) is used to simulate microgravity on organisms without the use of real microgravity that is both expensive and scarcely available. This enables in-depth studies on the effect of weightlessness on organic materials in a controlled environment with relatively small means. The RPM has not yet been commercialized to a broader market but the most recent improvements to the machine creates possibilities for a start-up business revolving around the RPM. A method including both qualitative and quantitative models based on a case study were used to capture both aspects and to understand both how far in development the technologies were and the potential in the different market segments. The TRL for the different UVP’s of the RPM were generally ranked high except for the modularity and the market segment ranking shows that, from the four chosen segments, the food fermentation and fat crystallization segments have the most potential. The watch industry showed a minimal amount of potential. The SWOT-analysis on the two segments shows that the biggest weakness is the inexperience with start-ups but that is countered by the possibility for support by the university. For the food fermentation, there is an opportunity for a partnership where the company Swiss Culture Collection has shown interest in cooperation but there is also the threat of end customers equating organisms produced in microgravity with GMO, and by that having a negative impact. For fat crystallization, there is an opportunity with improving the process for producing low-fat products if research shows that microgravity can affect the density of the product. On the other hand, there is a lot of research that needs to be done to get the results.
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