The facts always first
There are no news on PuzzlePhone release date at this point. As of today, we can neither confirm nor deny that Circular Devices has secured more private funds to continue the making of the PuzzlePhone. We keep in the work, but advancements are sparse due to the slow and not flexible enough payment scheme of the committed public funds.
On the bright side
Previously on “Grants from the European Commission”
Our first Horizon 2020 grant is the ongoing sustainablySMART project, which is contributing to fund the R&D of the PuzzlePhone (as we announced here). The sustainablySMART is an on-going 4 year project (2015-2019). We were expecting to receive the 2nd payment of this grant upon completion of the tasks related to the 1st payment back in Q1-2016, some of our doings have been already made public at our “Captain’s Log” blog series.
Recently we had received the 2nd payment and by the time you are reading these lines we are already re-activating our R&D doings. Given the forced slowdown that this funding hiccup has represented for our public-private funding strategy we are not in a position where we can put our R&D engine at full-steam, but we believe we will reach certain milestones that will convince private investors to give us the boost we missed in Q1-2016.
Due to previously mentioned delays with receiving funds in time we have been bordering with total hibernation for last months.
Many European StartUps would not survive such a period, and there are numerous publicly known cases proving it (samples needed- links?). Hardware StartUps are particularly sensitive to such hiccups. Hardware Startups are also highly dependent on the public investment, especially at early-stage when the perceived risk is higher for private investors. It is when startups like we would need support from public entities most to warm and break the ice.
The second time we were awarded by the European Commision with a Seal of Excellence on a new grant that was supposed to cover the R&D up to “Market Ready” (meaning that the product will be mature enough for big volumes). The Seal of Excellence acknowledged the EC’s green light on the Company’s Business Plan. These projects are reviewed by industry experts hired by the EC. Sadly the EC run out of funds before funding our project, and the Seal of Excellence was not good enough by itself to unlock further funding from alternative sources.
PuzzlePhone gets EU support (again and again)
The European Commission has given green light to a new Horizon 2020 grant project where Circular Devices Oy and partners that include like MBA Polymers, Philips, Whirlpool and the University of United Nations - among others -, will demonstrate, by the first time on a large-scale, how to fully implement recycled plastics in smartphones from production to recovering, in a highly efficient closed-loop.
What about the technical specifications?
From product launch point of view, specifications-wise speaking, the accumulated delay will allow to come with upgraded specs.
We would not be creating a phone “Design to Last” if it would not be upgradeable. Future-proofing technology is tricky, and we would never be able to do it by ourselves 5 years ago. Luckily the PuzzlePhone Compatible architecture it is fully aligned, compatible and it benefits, from the underlying and pre-existing layers (physical and logical) embraced by the supply-chain in recent years.
They key message around specifications is that you do not have to worry about receiving and outdated smartphone. Your PuzzlePhone will live long and prosper in your pockets.
Alejandro Santacreu (CEO)
On behalf of the PuzzlePhone team
The sustainable phone you’ve been looking for!