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Séverine Valerius - 6/09/2016

Launch of EXAPTA, disruptive innovation for more durable viticulture

In an extremely competitive global market, the French wine-making sector must face numerous challenges. It must maintain its competitiveness in a durable way, and evolve so as to be in tune with societal expectations. EXAPTA - a decision-support tool (DST) adaptable to any vineyard - was created with this in mind.

Digital technology at the service of the grands crus of Bordeaux

Robust, scalable and original, the software solution was designed by Ertus Group, a consulting firm in the wines and spirits sector, and French researchers in the digital sciences.

EXAPTA generates technical itineraries and work schedules for equipment, processes and staff, based on the constraints encountered by the vineyard: absences, breakdowns, evolution of the vineyard, weather conditions...The optimisation focusses on the use of the equipment and the cost of interventions, which enables an effective reduction in operating costs and an informed choice regarding the equipment to use. In particular, the integration of the company's phytosanitary management strategy within the DST leads to better management of the application of pesticides and forms part of a more durable viticulture.

The estate - relieved of planning tasks thanks to the digital tool - can then devote itself to high added-value activities such as vineyard supervision, management, technical and sales development, or customer relations. EXAPTA is also aimed at service providers and associations of producers by facilitating a potential pooling of their resources.

A winning partnership between a research institute and an SME

EXAPTA was made possible as part of a system called "Inria Innovation Lab", a strengthened partnership between an SME - in this case, Ertus Group - and a joint project team - in this case, RealOpt from the Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest centre, the CNRS, the University of Bordeaux and Bordeaux INP. This joint research programme, lasting two to three years, should enable, in the long run, a strengthening of the SME's capacity for innovation thanks to an increase in its R&D recruitment and technology transfer.

EXAPTA, which is integrated within the Process2Wine wine sector production management software, developed by Ertus Group, will be commercialised in 2017.

This project is supported by the Région Nouvelle Aquitaine (New Aquitaine region), BPI France and the Initiative for Excellence (Idex) of the University of Bordeaux.

Ertus Group is a service company devoted to the wines and spirits sector, and was founded in 2000 by Alain Sutre. Its main areas of activity are providing vineyard expertise, technological and economic audit, project management and change management. Above all, for the last five years it has been proposing a solution for the analysis of the information systems that are necessary for pertinent decision-making. It also develops and commercialises the Process2Wine software suite. The Canadian subsidiary of the group will also enable the distribution of EXAPTA on the North-American continent, where Process2Wine has already been commercialised for the last two years. In July 2016, the company raised capital of €1.1m, which will enable it to ensure its development.

Realopt is joint team between Inria and two laboratories under the supervision of the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP and the CNRS: the Bordeaux Institute of Mathematics (IMB) and LaBRI (Bordeaux Research Laboratory in Information Technology). The team is working on constrained optimisation methodologies involving binary decisions (on/off). There are numerous applications for logistics (vehicle routing), system management (telecoms network), task planning (schedules), or production organisation (glass cutting problems, maintenance planning). The EXAPTA optimisation module uses the BaPCod software platform, developed by the team.

Keywords: Realopt Viticulture Inria Innovation Lab Transfert Optimisation Développement durable