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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WINETWORK (Network for the exchange and transfer of innovative knowledge between European wine-growing regions to increase the productivity and sustainability of the sector)

WINETWORK Report Summary

Project ID: 652601
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 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: 2015-04-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Summary of the context:
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 will exchange on their knowledge on two important diseases in vineyard: grapevine trunk diseases (GTD) and Flavesence dorée (FD). These diseases are well-known in many vineyards and have been extending for several years in different European countries, so it has a big economic importance in the European wine industry. As many winegrowers are testing innovative and sustainable approaches to fight against these diseases, it is very beneficial to capture these ideas and to share them 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). This participatory approach will allow transferring results from science and practical knowledge to materials adapted to end-users. This network will promote interactions between scientists and practitioners to gather and share experiences and knowledge of different actors from the main wine producing European regions. The project will also identify the most important topics to be addressed after the end of the project, offering important replication opportunities and sustainability of the created network.
WINETWORK project directly and regularly involves around 180 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. This project is built on a methodology for innovation-driven research developed and tested in previous European projects: WINETECH and WINETECH PLUS projects, led by FEUGA from 2006 to 2013. The overall objective of the WINETWORK project is to close the research and innovation divide by setting up a thematic network for the promotion of an interactive innovation-driven research ecosystem applied to the winegrowing sector, based on previously experiences.

The objectives:
The project will adapt a standard methodology to accelerate the shift from science-driven research to innovation-driven research based on the needs of end users. This approach implies gathering experiences and knowledge from different actors, interactive knowledge co-creation and its wide diffusion among stakeholders.

WINETWORK has four specific objectives:
-To develop an ecosystem for the co-creation of knowledge at European scale. WINETWORK project will develop an innovative methodology, based on previous experiences, for strengthening multi-actors cooperation to gather knowledge and innovative solutions that cut-across research, to collect, synthesize, share and widely disseminate best practices and research results to practitioners and scientists.
-To stimulate exchange of information and to co-create a knowledge reservoir on grapevine trunk diseases and flavescence dorée. The project will improve the exchange of information and knowledge between scientists and winegrowers on the management of these diseases, stimulating the flow of information and exchanges of experiences between the different European regions affected by these diseases. A comprehensive reservoir of existing scientific and practical knowledge will be created to provide accessible materials to both innovation service providers and end-users (winegrowers).
-To improve skills and education material of the wine industry stakeholders. WINETWORK will allow developing material exploiting the knowledge reservoir to train winegrowers, agricultural services, farm advisory services and innovation support services. Training programmes will be developed and implemented. The project will also identify the most efficient path for spreading and transferring knowledge.
-To develop a research and innovation agenda for increasing productivity and sustainability of the European wine industry. The objective is also to develop a better targeted and shared research agenda for innovation-driven research.

Implementation of the project:
WINETWORK project follows a methodology previously applied in other projects. First the network has to be created by setting up the facilitator agents’ network, the technical working groups and one scientific working group at European level. There will be two scientific working groups and 10 interconnected technical working groups, one in each region. They are formed by technicians, support services, FA and winegrowers. The scientific working groups are composed of two groups, one for Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTD) and the other for Flavescence Dorée (FD). It gathers scientists from all European countries that are working on these themes.
Once the two groups formed, and their knowledge collected and analyzed, the knowledge is being synthesized and the most relevant information is being identified through a participative process at regional scale. Then all this scientific and practical knowledge will be translated into educative and interactive supports addressed to innovation support service and winegrowers. This knowledge reservoir will be composed of technical data sheets, end-users flyers, technical videos, newsletters and publications.
The technical working groups, scientific working groups and European winegrowers allow identify needs for innovation driven research and to define a future research agenda.
All this leads to the dissemination and exploitation of the project results. To ensure its success, one European and 10 regional dissemination plans will be defined. Special events will take place to disseminate the material available on the knowledge reservoir to practitioners, advisors and innovation support services. Finally partners will study the possibility of transferring the project results to other agricultural sectors.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

For this first period, the achievement of the objectives was pursued through a fluent work between IFV, coordinating the project, and all partners and stakeholders.

FEUGA, in charge of the network creation and coordination, fulfilled the specific objectives of the WP1, meaning creating an interactive structure and network of around 180 actors in 10 European regions, setting up a common framework, methodology, specifications and to establish detailed governance rules for each element, providing training to Facilitator Agents and coordinating the network at European, National and regional levels. Relationships with partners were essential to create the FA Network (FAN). Partners met the criteria to select the FAs and in general they kept the deadlines in the hiring processes. It allowed launching the FA network as planned. FEUGA as FAN coordinator and URCA and IFV as SWG coordinators carried out the training in skills and competences and the technical training. Regarding the common framework for WINETWORK structure, FEUGA, IFV and URCA were involved in the handbook writing, checking the rules and processes defined and a setting up the common framework for WINETWORK structure. Three FA meetings (virtual and face-to-face) were organised, 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 197 experts from all Europe, 179 with a technical profile (TWGs members) and 18 with a scientific profile (SGWs members) was launched.

IFV is in charge of the synthesis of scientific and practical knowledge in WP2 aiming to gather scientific and practical information on innovative practices to manage GTD and FD, filter it and identify the most useful practices after discussion at European scale, and collect the content of the knowledge reservoir. These objectives were achieved through 150 winegrowers’ interviews. The practical information on knowledge and management on both diseases was collected by FAs in the 10 regions during the period and the collection of scientific data was done by the Scientific Working Groups on GTDs and FD. The members of each SWG worked on the collection and analysis of relevant scientific papers regarding the project’s objectives in the purpose to supply the Facilitator Agents network with scientific knowledge on both diseases. All these results will serve as a basis in the knowledge reservoir to determine the topics and the type of material to disseminate in the future. First information coming from the work of SWGs were already added into the knowledge reservoir (4 videos on grapevines trunk diseases and Flavescence Dorée). The collection of data will continue in the second period (until September 2016) and will fill-in the knowledge reservoir.

VINIDEA is the partner in charge of the knowledge reservoir. This third work package’s goal in the first period was to create a web gate for the Knowledge Reservoir to be consulted. This web platform intended to host knowledge on GTD and FD, coming from scientists and practitioners. It was planned during the first months of the project, and its design was definitively defined during the consortium meeting in Portugal. The website was created in the following months, thanks to the contribution of partners in label translation and bug checking. The website is now completed, and partners already started to create new items and upload documents.

IFV is leader on the dissemination and exploitation whose only objective for this period was to create links with other initiatives and projects in Europe. From September until December 2015, partners were asked to identify relevant initiatives and projects, regional, national and international to link with. A total of 43 initiatives were identified and 28 were selected to link with. The synergies between projects will be done through exchange of knowledge, co-publications and organisation of common workshops.

IFV is also the leader of the WP6 on communication activities. A lot was done in this first period already concerning communication. The communication strategy has been defined, the website created as well as the stakeholder database and the first communication campaign has been implemented.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

As expected, the WINETWORK project will have important impacts in several levels:

-Development of a methodology of reference for promoting innovation-driven research in the agricultural sector
First, the WINETWORK project will experiment, analyse and deliver an improved novel methodology for enhancing innovation-driven research. The project is based on a specific structure (FA, TWG, SWG) with well defined rules of implementation and a complete monitoring. This approach is very innovative and challenging. However, due to previous experience, the WINETWORK partners are developing an efficient methodology for gathering innovative practices and closing the gap between practitioners and researchers. At the end of the project, this methodology will be carefully analysed to identify the advantages and drawbacks in order to provide optimised guidelines for project replication. This document will have an important impact in the whole agricultural sector because it is designed so that it can be replicated towards any farming area. By providing such a methodology, the WINETWORK project will actively contribute to the implementation of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) “Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability”.

- Improvement of the flow of information and knowledge between academia and practitioners, as well as between European regions
The WINETWORK project is directly involving 197 stakeholders (practitioners and academia), making them aware of mutual topics of interests and innovative solutions. The first feedbacks are very positive: researchers and practitioners are expecting more exchanges between each other. An important quantity of knowledge is being collected and will be synthesised and disseminated before the end of the project. Because of regular meetings between FAs, exchanges between the 10 participating European regions are important and very interesting from a technical point of view.
All these exchanges will result in the production of innovative knowledge that should help preserving EU vineyards from GTD and FD.

- Deployment of a vast reservoir of existing scientific and practical knowledge
The WINETWORK knowledge reservoir will contain all the material produced by project partners to train winegrowers and innovation support services to innovative practices for fighting FD and GTD. It has been designed so that every interested stakeholder can participate and upload its own contribution (after validation from the administrators). More specifically, the knowledge reservoir will contain, at least:
•5 video seminars, in 8 languages
•4 technical articles in 8 languages
•4 synoptical Powerpoint presentations, in 8 languages
•30 end-user flyers
•6 video clips in 8 languages
-Improvement of the economy of the wine industry
By targeting two diseases of European importance, the first impact will thus be the conservation of the viticulture heritage, in the areas directly involved in the project and beyond. Although there are no statistics available on the percentage of incidence of the diseases targeted by the project, 5% of vine affected by one of the two diseases can represent a reasonable average of the present situation. Unfortunately, the diseases diffusion is increasing in several EU regions. Once a plant is infected, presently its sole fate is to be uprooted and substituted with a new vine. The cost of this substitution has been estimated at 10€ per plant.

Vineyards are cultivated in about 3 million hectares in Europe, with an average plant density of 4000 vines/ha: therefore, 12 billions of plants are producing grapes in Europe. The replacement of the presently infected vines has an overall value 6 billions €. Without a wide adoption of preventing or curative good practices, this economic damage is likely to increase exponentially in the next years.
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. It will be particularly relevant in the regions involved in the project as they have been chosen for the highest incidence of the diseases.
These advantages are essential in keeping a high level of competitiveness for the EU wine sector.

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