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Network for the exchange and transfer of innovative knowledge between European wine-growing regions to increase the productivity and sustainability of the sector

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WINETWORK (Network for the exchange and transfer of innovative knowledge between European wine-growing regions to increase the productivity and sustainability of the sector)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-09-30

WINETWORK is a European collaborative project for the exchange and transfer of innovative knowledge between European wine-growing regions to increase the productivity and sustainability of the sector. For 3 years, 11 partners of 7 European countries exchanged their knowledge on two important diseases in vineyard: grapevine trunk diseases (GTD) and Flavesence dorée (FD). These diseases have been extending for several years in different European countries, with a big economic importance on the European wine industry. As many winegrowers are testing innovative and sustainable approaches to fight these diseases, it is very beneficial to collect and share these ideas between European countries. The project approach is based on interactions between a network of Facilitator Agents (FA), regional technical working groups (TGW) and two scientific working groups (SWG). WINETWORK project has directly and regularly involved around 451 people to collect, identify and synthesise best practices and research results from all Europe in order to present and share it to the whole community. The overall objective of the WINETWORK project is to close the research and innovation gap by setting up a thematic network for the promotion of an interactive innovation-driven research ecosystem applied to the winegrowing sector.
After 36 months of work, several conclusions can be drawn:
- A powerful network of facilitator agents and of a European professional people exchanging on two diseases has been built
- The methodology to improve exchange between research and practices and to detect innovation has been proved efficient
- The Facilitator Agent profile has been proved crucial for bridging the gap
- A European reference website of knowledge on grapevine trunk diseases and FD: the knowledge reservoir
- A wide range of created material synthetizing updated knowledge of GTDs ad FD has been made available
- Sustainability of the created network and knowledge has been performed due to the free and easy access of all the material created through the knowledge reservoir
- The methodology of this project can be very useful to replicate in other similar initiatives but with wider stakes and impacts
During the 30 months of the project, the work performed by the partners allowed to produce multiple outputs. The first months of the project were dedicated to the creation of an interactive structure and network of around 180 actors in 10 European regions. Eight FA meetings (virtual and face-to-face) were organised during the life of the project, a clear methodology and a continuous support and communication allowed to monitor and to guarantee the adequate operation of the network. Eventually, a network of 200 experts from all Europe, 182 with a technical profile and 18 with a scientific profile was launched. The created network is powerful, due to the excellent relationship between FAs, regular exchanges between FAs, complementary skills, experience and knowledge.
Objectives of WP2 were achieved through 219 winegrowers’ interviews to collect practical information and through the work of the 2 SWGs gathering scientific knowledge. The practical information on knowledge and management on both diseases was collected by FAs in the 10 regions during 6 months and the collection of scientific data was done by the Scientific Working Groups on GTDs and FD for the same period. Technical meetings with TWG were organized to support FA in the analysis of the practice. Collected knowledge focuses on both scientific knowledge and technical practices, by setting aside the economic incidence of grapevine trunk diseases and Flavescence Dorée. The interviews and the work with TWG raised the need for an European, national and regional economic value of the losses caused by these diseases.
Web gate for the knowledge reservoir was created in April 2016 by VINIDEA and was open online on November 2016. It contains now more than 531 documents of several types: technical datasheets, technical articles, scientific articles, power-points, videos, training and flyers. In the objective to disseminate knowledge to ISS and winegrowers, FAs worked with SWGs to create updated material.
Dissemination activities were performed from the beginning of the project, with first the creation of synergies with other initiatives and then with the dissemination of the results of the project to winegrowers and ISS. Dissemination was pursued by the organisation of workshops, articles, oral presentations and posters. During the project, and due to limited time for this task, dissemination was bounded at regional level. Dissemination will now occur at national level, to benefit to the entire sector and transmit this updated information to the wider possible audience. Three communication campaigns allowed to raise awareness on the project and to inform the European wine community of its existence. The good involvement of all partners in communication activities led to be successful in dissemination and to interest a large number of people. Even after its end, the project keeps raising interests and publications on journals keep being released.
Development of a methodology of reference for promoting innovation-driven research. For replication of the project, the three key elements are indispensables and need to be replicated to achieve the goals: Network of facilitators agents in the center of the top-down/bottom-up approach, with good technical knowledge, supported by technical and methodological coordinators; support of an advisory board composed by researchers to validate the accuracy of the disseminated knowledge; implication of practitionners through Technical working group
The WINETWORK project improved the flow of information and knowledge between academia and practitioners, as well as between European regions, by directly involving 431 stakeholders (practitioners and academia), making them aware of mutual topics of interests and innovative solutions. An important quantity of knowledge was collected, synthesised and disseminated before the end of the project. More than 531 documents fill the reservoir. The knowledge reservoir is now a reference to find information on these subjects and has also the ambition to become the first European informative website on these two diseases.
By targeting two diseases of European importance, the first impact is the conservation of the viticulture heritage, in the areas directly involved in the project and beyond.
In European vineyards, 5 to 30% of plants are considered unproductive due to grapevine trunk diseases or Flavescence Dorée. Therefore, the dissemination of good practices performed during the project – likely to significantly mitigate the effects of the diseases on the infected vines and to reduce further spreading of the diseases - will have a direct significant impact on the economy of the wine sector. This is essential in keeping a high level of competitiveness for the EU wine sector.
Global pictures of winetwork network and outputs
How does WINETWORK project works