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21st Innovation Trophies: Vinitech-Sifel Reveals the Winners!

On 6 September, the panel of experts for the Vinitech-Sifel Innovation Trophies met in Bordeaux to choose the 2018 winners of this competition of excellence in innovative equipment, processes and techniques by exhibitors from all business sectors. After reviewing some sixty contestants, 16 prizes were awarded: 1 Special Jury Prize, 6 Silver Trophies and 9 Bronze Trophies. With an additional 14 Commendations, these innovations demonstrate the strong performance of manufacturers in all areas of research & development; they also highlight the growing commitment of the wine, fruit and vegetable-growing sectors to the issues of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

TRENDS:   4 MAJOR INNOVATION FOCUS POINTS

For the two Co-Presidents of the trade show’s Scientific and Technical Committee, Christophe RIOU, Deputy Director of the IFV [French Wine and Vine Institute] and Pierre GAILLARD, Director of Invenio in charge of coordinating fruit and vegetable R&D for Propulso, this 21st edition of the Trophies confirms the commitment of these sectors to sustainable agriculture in a context underscored by the environmental and social responsibility of businesses.  We can also note:

  • A growth in the diversity of companies addressing the new societal and environmental issues. These companies are of all sizes (small, medium and large) and from all sectors. The Jury rewarded six international companies for their innovations: Intranox (Spain), Braun Maschinenbau (Germany), Lindner (Austria), Mollificio Bortolussi SRL (Italy), Raytec Vision SPA (Italy) and Vinventions SA (Belgium).
  • Innovation and an abundance of ideas in all business sectors (agricultural practices, cultivation techniques and production systems).
  • These 2018 awards illustrate awareness of the dual issue of ecological and digital transition; they showcase significant breakthroughs or an intensification of R&D around four priority areas:
  • The reduction in both the environmental impact and use of plant protection products.
  • Protection from exposure risks and the health of users and neighboring residents.
  • Precision agriculture: steering, robotics, connected and intelligent systems throughout all production phases.
  • Innovations in use, convenience and ergonomics.

THE WINNERS!

Finally, in this period of profound societal change, where agricultural is being challenged to undertake a green and digital revolution, this 2018 edition is a reminder that innovation is not just a result, but also a process in which only the virtue of the long-term can lead to an innovative breakthrough. 

‘A long-term period is essential to industrial development and the transfer of technology. We can observe a need for maturity and the appropriation of innovations to face societal and environmental challenges. It is for this reason that the Jury decided not to award a Gold Trophy, as none of the advances submitted this year meet the strict criteria set out in the rules for this award, i.e. “a significant innovation or breakthrough, which has been well developed and contributes to at least one aspect of sustainable development” (extract from the rules of the Vinitech-Sifel Innovation Trophies). This was a difficult but acceptable decision which demonstrates the rigor of this competition’, Christophe RIOU and Pierre GAILLARD explain.

In parallel with the 6 Silver Trophies and 9 Bronze Trophies, the jury therefore decided to:

  • award its 2018 Special Prize, the only cash-endowed award (€5,000), to the company DiiMotion, to support the expansion of this highly promising transversal solution;
  • award 14 commendations to works in progress. These more numerous distinctions bring the jury’s encouragement to manufacturers who are currently facing fundamental problems and new challenges and who require more time to develop and accomplish their projects.

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE FOR DiiMOTION

The Special Jury Prize awarded to DiiMOTION (cultivation techniques category) aims to foster the development of its PIIX innovation for the direct injection of plant protection products for sprayers. The manufacturer is setting itself apart with this system for the direct injection of plant protection products into the sprayer circuit. The main vat contains only water and the liquid or solid products are placed in the PIIX vats. This enables optimum use of protection agents and minimizes the quantity of resulting effluents and exposure to the user. This direct injection system offers promising developments in terms of precision spraying, as it allows for the dosage to be modified within the same plot.

6 SILVER TROPHIES for precision agriculture and the steering of connected systems

Category: Fruit & Vegetables

  • CBC BIOGARD was rewarded for the first mating disruption product for greenhouse tomatoes. This control system for the Tuta Absoluta moth in soil-free, greenhouse tomato-growing, consists of twigs soaked in pheromones to disrupt mating. The twigs are dispersed throughout the greenhouse (1000 twigs per hectare).  

Category: Cultivation Techniques

  • ERTUS was rewarded for Exapta, a (decision-making assistance) software package which helps the wine-grower plan vineyard tasks and, in particular, plant treatment. The software uses data on phenological stages, available equipment, the list of plant diseases and protection products, in addition to plot information. 
  • INFACO was rewarded for its additional wireless safety device for electric secateurs, DSES Wireless. This innovation, which is compatible with the latest two generations of secateurs, is based on the creation of a conducting loop between the trigger of the secateurs (a strategic choice for tool safety, as this is the control element) and the user’s body. 

Category: Vine and Wine

  • CITF offers a highly innovative robotic sorting system for harvesting, called the ALIEN procedure. This is an optical sorting system, in which waste is separated by robotic arms equipped with vacuum nozzles. It is the first application of robotics in the cellar for improved harvesting quality.
  • INTRANOX has developed an environmentally-friendly automated cellar management system. The Oreste0 procedure is a recovery, storage and re-use system for the CO2 produced during fermentation. This automatic system reduces the environmental impact and exposure to CO2 risk in cellars. 
  • LAMOUROUX has developed E2, an innovative solution to improve the energy efficiency of wineries. This software suite controls energy and water consumption in cellars. 

9 BRONZE TROPHIES for innovations in use and the reduction of the environmental impact

Category: Cultivation Techniques

  • German company BRAUN MASCHINENBAU GmbH was rewarded for VPA: Vineyard Pilot Assistant. This system focuses on the steering of tools in the row, which differentiates it from GPS-based systems which focus on the steering (or auto-piloting) of the tractor. 
  • KARNOTT and its connected meter which simplifies the monitoring of agricultural operations.  This product enables the user to monitor the tools on a farm, to locate them and know if they are or have been in use.  It is a fully autonomous system which does not require any connection to the tractor.
  • VITIBOT, with its 100% electric and fully autonomous wine robot, Bakus. This is a robotic straddle tractor which can carry out vineyard tasks, in order to facilitate the work of the wine-grower and reduce exposure to risk (plant protection products and overturning).

Category: Vine and Wine

  • BUCHER VASLIN presents Delta Evolution 2, an optimum harvest destemming and sorting system for increased care of the most fragile varieties. Its innovation lies in the gradual movement of the harvest between the hopper and the destemming fingers. 
  • CHALVIGNAC presents a multi-functional ‘thermo-fridge-pump’ with 2 co-axial exchangers:  Cryoflex 4 tubes. It enables simultaneous or independent cooling down and heating of various products, such as the harvest, musts and wine. 
  • D-INNOVATION unveiled Hekinox, a sampling valve designed specifically for the wine-growing sector.  It can be adapted to existing vats and consists of 2 parts: a baseplate which remains on the vat and a sample collection kit. 
  • The Bacchimeter, developed by FORCE A, is a connected mobile sensor which measures the quantity of anthocyanins present in the grape skin directly on site. 
  • The hydro ceramic glaze barrels developed by VINEA SAS are the result of a new manufacturing process which consists in an impregnation of the barrel casing with vivified water in the form of steam, before core ceramic firing.  This procedure, which is environmentally beneficial thanks to a reduction in water use and in the production of CO2, adds a new aromatic range to barrels.
  • WINE & TOOLS was rewarded for its Wine Donut: an ‘inflatable ball’ system which can be inserted into vats during vinification or maturation to manage head room and thus prevent oxidation. This simple, ingenious system reduces the use of neutral gas, enables gentle extraction and prevents the oxidation of musts and wines.

Background information on the winners available soon at www.vinitech-sifel.com

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