The story of the technology XSpectra® started 8 years ago. After years of research, hard work and passion, the adventure took a decisive turn in April 2019 with the launch of the 2-year project “XSpectra®, The Most Advanced Real Time Food Contaminants Detector”.
Through the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, the European Commission has awarded Xnext® a grant agreement of 2.3 million EUR for a project worth 3.3 million EUR. The Grant is part of the Horizon 2020 Programme – SME Instrument Phase 2.
The SME Instrument (the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Instrument) supports high-potential small and medium-sized businesses to develop and bring to market radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that could open new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide. EIC pilot-funded companies are present in all fields of emerging innovation and technology trends. They have been carefully selected by innovation, business and investment experts; on average only 4% make the final cut.
The European Commission has deemed the technology XSpectra® as “disruptive” due to its high level of innovation and its future economic and social impacts. XSpectra® analyses in real time a product while it runs on the production line and assesses its conformity with the pre-set quality requirements. In particular in the food industry, the
technology has proved that it can identify low-density foreign bodies and contaminants such as light plastics, bits of wood, organic parts, which today cannot be otherwise detected.
Xnext®’s ambition is to develop and disseminate a new generation of X-ray detection systems capable of radically improving the quality control sector, thus providing positive effects on:
• businesses (in terms of organisational process, costs and reputation);
• the consumers, the patients, the travellers, etc. in short, the society as a whole (thanks to reliable quality controls);
• the environment (by means of reducing waste and saving energy and resources).
This was the very motivation behind the creation of Xnext® and the development of XSpectra®.
The overall objective of the project is consequently to facilitate and speed up the entering of XSpectra® in the marketplace and its dissemination in Europe and worldwide. The key points to commercialise the technology XSpectra® are minimising the time-to-market and increasing the visibility of Xnext®.
To this end, the project follows a methodology that involves at each stage to rely on a network of experts and interested stakeholders:
• Entering the market through the network sale of a major food inspection machine manufacturer: the inspection machines are equipped with XSpectra®, thus allowing Xnext to overcome the usual barriers for new entrants on the market.
• Setting up demonstration centers: the performance of XSpectra® is proved on-the-spot in terms of quality production and efficient processing.
• Validating XSpectra® in different field tests (selected food production companies) and for various applications:
XSpectra® is tested directly on the production line for different types of foodstuff and container. Here again, the performance of XSpectra® and its versatility are demonstrated and validated by several food production businesses.
• Beyond the food system actors, Xnext® relies upon other experts and interested stakeholders, who will take part in commercialising, protecting and speaking of XSpectra®.
The XSpectra® project lasts 2 years from the starting date April 1st, 2019.
The final goal of the project is to market the technology and ensure its diffusion in Europe and worldwide.
Several stages have been defined, such as: (i) testing in the field, data collection and analysis of the XSpectra® prototype; (ii) definition of the commercial approach that allows a quick and profitable entry onto the market; (iii) integration of XSpectra® on the production lines in various selected companies; (iv) execution of a communication strategy to disseminate the results of the technology.