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Software basado en conocimiento para evaluar y mejorar la huella de carbono de un producto en todo su ciclo de vida

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOAT20160915001
Publicado:
23/09/2016
Caducidad:
23/09/2017
Resumen:
Una pyme austríaca ha desarrollado una herramienta para calcular, comparar, mejorar y dar a conocer la huella de carbono de un producto y ofrecer una clara indicación de su rendimiento ambiental. Esta herramienta tiene una interfaz intuitiva, no precisa conocimientos previos y ofrece resultados sólidos gracias al uso de una base de datos exhaustiva de inventario basada en estándares internacionales. La empresa busca socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de comercialización con asistencia técnica, licencia, investigación o cooperación técnica.

Details

Tittle:
Knowledge-based software to assess and improve the carbon footprint of a product over its complete life cycle
Summary:
An Austrian SME has developed a tool to calculate, compare, improve and communicate product carbon footprint, giving a clear indication of a product´s environmental performance. It has an intuitive interface, requires no previous knowledge and provides robust results by using a comprehensive inventory database based on international standards. The company is looking for commercial agreements with technical assistance or license agreements and research and/or technology cooperation agreements.
Description:
Products cause environmental impacts along their entire life cycle and companies are required to integrate environmental considerations into product development. Due to ever stricter regulations and increasing customer awareness, one of the most critical calculations refers to Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), a focused version of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which considers only one category of environmental impacts, namely global warming. However, the environmental assessment and actual calculation itself can be very daunting tasks for people new to the field. They often do not know where to start, are hindered by restricted database access and complex software that requires expert knowledge of methods to arrive at first results. Also, many solutions only cover certain phases of the product life cycle and do not provide a complete picture.

An Austrian environmental engineering and R-Y-D intensive SME has developed a software tool that allows users to easily calculate, compare, improve and communicate the PCF of their product over its entire life cycle: from material use to end of life and final disposal. It is specifically geared towards product developers, designers and engineers who have little or no prior experience of environmental assessments, LCA or PCF calculations. The software features an intuitive interface and provides results by using a comprehensive inventory database, following the principles set in LCA standards (ISO 14040/14044).

The program can be accessed through a web-based version or by installing a local interface, if the sensitivity of applications and data security require so. Additionally, the software offers flexible application options and is suitable for first assessments as well as in-depth analyses - depending on time, information and capacities of the user.

Data entry is enhanced based on readily available datasets. The user selects the appropriate options and values (e.g. weight, material, energy consumption etc) based on the five life cycle phases:
1. Materials (extraction and processing): selection of different materials and supplier parts.
2. Manufacture: assembly of the various parts and components into the finished product including its accessories.
3. Distribution: transport of the finished product from its manufacturing site to the end consumer and the market.
4. Product use: scenarios based on the typical customer applications.
5. End-of-Life: treatment and disposal of products.

The software calculates the total associated greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the output section reacts instantly to changes in the input data, giving the user direct feedback on the impact of possible material choices, efficiency improvements or design changes. Product models can easily be duplicated to compare the effect of design or engineering changes or different use scenarios. Finally, the tool identifies the most relevant life cycle phase and suggests appropriate improvement strategies to decrease the environmental impact over the entire life cycle of the product.

The software is connected to a customizable database, which can be further interconnected or integrated with other external databases. The software is implemented with Javascript (NodeJS) and can be executed in a bundled form as a web-server or within a webkit-container on most common platforms. The whole look and feel can be easily adapted to a company´s corporate design using mainstream web technologies (HTML, CSS).

The product is already available in international markets (Austria, Sweden) and has clients worldwide. The company is looking to offer the tool via distributors or re-sellers through commercial agreements with technical assistance or license agreements. The company is also looking to further localize or adapt the product with technology cooperation agreements or to explore further potential, co-develop or initiate complex engineering projects with research partners worldwide.
Advantages and Innovations:
The tool is positioned uniquely in the market as an efficient, fast and accurate way for companies wishing to carry out a LCA of a product at an introductory or intermediate level at an affordable price.

From the technical viewpoint, the tool is not designed as a standalone PCF calculator, but aims to provide support to producers in identifying targeted and effective improvement strategies for their products. Its user interface is specifically geared towards product developers, designers and engineers who have little or no prior experience on LCA or PCF calculations.

The software offers the following advantages over current solutions:
- interactive results which respond instantly to changes in the input data, giving the user direct feedback on the impact of possible material choices, process or design changes and guides to efficiency improvements
- importing capabilities for existing data in various file formats, such as computer-aided design files and spreadsheets as well as information from product data management systems
- quick reporting function which summarizes valuable information along the entire life cycle of the product to facilitate the communication of the results
- easy to adapt to specific company requirements, i.e. users can incorporate existing bills of materials and automatically link them to the most suitable environmental datasets
- enables team collaboration: from modelling parts and components during a new product development process to incorporating supplier parts, the software enables users to easily share product models and duplicate parts
- facilitates the exchange of data along the value chain e.g., for collaboration with suppliers.
Stage of Development:
Already on the market
IPs:
Trade Marks,Copyright

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
1. Commercial agreement with technical assistance
Type of partner:
- Industrial SMEs
Role of partner:
- Use the software as part of their internal reporting processes as well to report against global reporting frameworks to assess their products carbon footprint using the life cycle approach.

2. Licence agreement with SMEs in international markets.
Tvpe of partner:
- Software vendors or sales agents
Role of the partner:
- Localise the software to meet the requirements of users in the country;
- Establish business channels in the country by licensing of the software.
- Introducing the software to the market.

3. Research cooperation agreement
Type -Y- role of partner:
- Research organisations and companies looking for training of personnel within their Environmental Management Systems - e.g., EMAS or ISO 14001 schemes.
- SMEs (industry) or large public/private organizations who wish to implement common research projects on optimization of their processes and wish to implement LCA.

4. Technical cooperation agreement
Type of partner:
- SMEs focusing on industrial software
Role of partner:
- Build a network with companies that are focused on product LCA to lead generation, improve the product based on vertical market needs and secondly to provide a combination of sales and implementation services in complex industrial environments.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME <= 10
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
German

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
10002003 Captura y almacenamiento de CO2
04007 Eficiencia energética
10002015 Evaluación del ciclo de vida
04007001 Gestión de la energía
10002007 Tecnología / ingeniería medioambiental