Research and Innovation | News | 23 September 2012
Hypertech Energy Labs have been recently awarded with a new technology demonstration project contract with the European Commission, as one of the main partners of an international consortium comprised of renowned academic and industrial organizations from Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, Portugal and Bulgaria.The ECOPROWINE ("Life Cycle perspective for Low Impact Winemaking and Application in EU of Eco-innovative Technologies") project is co-funded by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and innovation of the European Commision in the framework of the 2012 Eco-Innovation Work Programme. ECOPROWINE is the only, among all awarded projects under the 2012 Eco-Innovation Call for Proposals, that incorporates Greek participation and Hypertech Energy Labs proudly lead Greece’s representation in the 2012 Eco-Innovation programme by concentrating over 80% of the total funding allocated to Greece for 2012. The starting date of the 3-year long project is the 3rd of September, 2012, and its total budget will be approximately 1M €.ECOPROWINE aims at minimizing the environmental impacts of wine production, by assessing and optimizing common wine making processes adopted in pan-European level by wine producers and proposing cost-effective and efficient improvements towards optimizing the environmental performance of the wine-making business sector throughout the whole life cycle chain of wine-making processes and achieving significant environmental impact by reducing energy consumption by 15%, water consumption by 30%, raw materials use by 25% and the generation of waste and CO2 emissions by 40% and 20% respectively.To this end, Hypertech Energy Labs will lead the development of the ECOPROWINE Self Assessment Framework, aiming at analyzing and evaluating the environmental performance of alterrnative contemporary wine production processes during their full lifecycle (from grape farming to commercialization stage) against specific environmental performance indicators and comparing them (benchmarking) with prototype optimized reference processes, promoted as a roadmap for achieving high environmental benefits through their adaptation by wine producers. The self-assessment framework will be properly designed in order to simplify the tasks associated with the query, acquisition, extraction and analysis of environmental impacts information, thereby enabling wine producers to address issues of uncertainty when devising policies, strategies and action plans. In this respect, the key process areas are identified and an optimum environmental performance goal is assigned to each step on the basis of benchmarking with optimized winemaking processes, in terms of CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, etc. The overall aim of the self-assessment framework is to properly guide wine-makers towards identifying poorly performing areas of their wine-making process and tailor specific action plans for improving the environmental performance of their wineries, given their individual needs and overall constraints in terms of investment costs, technology availability and environmental responsibility.Ultimately, ECOPROWINE will offer the opportunity to wine producers all over the EU, to apply for, obtain and use the ECOPROWINE Environmental Label in their brand products, thus increasing their commercial competitive advantage, visibility and market share, since more than 40% of EU consumers tend to make their purchasing decisions upon their concerns about environmental issues.The pilot application of the ECOPROWINE Self Assessment and Label Registration Framework will initially involve 105 wineries from the consortium member countries, including 20 wineries from Greece (mainly Northern Greece), while the business exploitation and commercialization of the project results foresees the engagement of at least 560 wineries/customers of the ECOPROWINE Assessment and Labeling Framework.