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Innovation Prize 2017

Innovation Prize 2017

Like every edition of VITeff since 1984, the Innovation Prize organised by the Community of the Conurbation Epernay, Coteaux and Plaine de Champagne in Epernay rewards the most innovative companies in the wine-growing sector.

In order to correspond to the current and future innovation challenges facing the industry, the categories for the Innovation Prize 2017 will be as follows:

  • Viticulture
  • Oenology
  • Process, products and consumables
  • Marketing and services
  • Special public award

Only companies exhibiting at VITeff can apply for one of the 5 categories. Particular attention will be paid to submissions taking into account sustainable development criteria.

This year, a new award has been created in a spirit of openness: the Pavillon du Futur Prize. This award is aimed at any project backer, regardless of whether or not they are an exhibitor, who is developing an idea connected to the wine sector and oenotourism.

The 2017 winners!

Category of technological innovation in process, products and consumables

Titanium tool for gripping bottles, obtained using additive manufacturing 3D printing
This titanium tool is made using additive manufacturing (3D printing) to make it very light and resistant. The actions that can be performed by an ALLIANS ROBOTICS robotic cell equipped with this tool are: loading and unloading of boxes and transferring to a crate.

The innovative character of this product results from its design, topographic method of optimisation, and its creation using additive manufacturing.
The tool obtained in this way is lighter than a traditional tool, which means an increase in efficiency, speed and robustness.

Following the R&D phase in 2016 and 3 initial prototypes, the tool is in the marketing phase. A robot equipped with 3 interchangeable tools has been in operation at a prestigious Champagne house in Reims for several months.

Contact: Olivier Magnien +33 (0)6 10 32 64 94

Category of marketing/services innovation


Corrugated cardboard cushioning system for e-commerce for bottles of wine and Champagne

Saf-e-xpress is a packaging solution to ship bottles of wine by mail in quantities of 3, 6, 9 and 12. Besides ensuring that the bottles of wine are protected, this cushioning inserted into a crate can be installed very quickly. Simple pressure on two sides and a locking system are all it takes to keep it in shape. Once installed, it holds its position, which allows logistics specialists to prepare them independently of the crate-filling phase. Finally, this cushioning can adapt to different shapes of wine bottle, both in terms of diameter and height.
The assembly time for Saf-e-xpress is the fastest on the market.
Marketing underway for several clients.

Contact: Fabienne Schweitzer +33 (0)6 38 50 12 56

Category of viticulture


Autonomous electric robot on caterpillar tracks for mechanical weeding
Bob is an electric viticulture robot made completely in France. It finds its way around the vineyard autonomously and mechanically weeds underneath the row thanks to an inter-vine feature. Mechanical weeding makes it possible to reduce the use of crop protection products.

Bob’s guidance system uses GPS, laser and optical sensors to identify the vine row and make changes to the row autonomously. Adapted for the Champagne inter-rows (from 90 cm to 1.5 m), the target objective is to work at 4km/h autonomously for 8 hours on one battery cycle.

The electric viticulture robot on caterpillar tracks, Bob, is the result of requests from farmers and winemakers met on site over several years.
A first caterpillar track model was made in 2016 and tested by winemakers in Champagne. The autonomous electric caterpillar track project is being developed and continued thanks to a partnership between the companies Naio Technologies, based in Toulouse, and FMV Defrance, based in Epernay.
The market launch for the Bob robot is imminent.

Contact: Thibaut Delcroix — +33 (0)7 68 03 79 21

Category of oenology


CILYO, tool to analyse the oxygen requirement of must
CILYO is a tool to analyse the oxygen requirement of must in order to reduce its sensitivity to oxidation over time and to have a positive effect on its organoleptic characteristics. An oxygen supply adapted to the needs of the must allows the fractions of juice that have so far been under-exploited to be enhanced and to improve the profile of treated wines by giving them more body, more fruit, and reducing bitterness. The economic benefits that this brings are significant.
It also allows a marked reduction in added antioxidants, particularly SO2.
The way in which CILYO works is based on the use of natural enzymatic mechanisms in grapes to selectively eliminate the components produced by chemical oxidation: phenolic acids. CILYO analyses the must’s requirements based on a small-scale simulation of this enzymatic reaction.
The product has been on the market since December 2016.

Contact: Laurent Fargeton — +33 (0)6 84 83 57 50 laurent.fargeton



Sensor connected to monitor wine in a tank in real time. Programming and management of thermoregulation
IPSUM will offer its customers a tool to monitor wine in a tank:
Monitoring of the following information: Temperature, pressure, volume and Brix degree. The tool will allow real-time tracking of the development of these parameters in an app and associated software. This tool will be presented in the form of a submerged sensor and an external interface with a touchscreen that will allow visualisation and interaction with the tank.
In addition, the product will integrate a thermal imaging camera, which will allow the temperature inside the tank to be calibrated.
The IPSUM tool will also allow thermoregulation to be managed and programmed. A warning system will make it possible to inform the winemaker of any anomalies.
At present, there is no real-time monitoring in winemaking tanks.
The product is still in the R&D phase, the market launch for the first product is expected in October 2017 during Viteff 2017.

Contact: Remi Fregnaux — +33 (0)6 59 93 73 52