IOWA : Sustainable Wine Production with AR and Robotics
The Internet of Wine and Art (IOWA) project is looking at the wine-making manufacturing industry in Italy, with wine producer Marco Felluga. Set in a centuries-old wine production house, currently operated by the sixth consecutive generation of wine makers, the project represents for this wine maker a next stage in building ‘a winery for the future’. Having already been recognised as a leader in their field through investments in energy reduction and sustainable growing, this project will focus inside, going into the cellars where the wine is aged and blended, as well as looking at waste residues from the production process.
The first track is the development of an IoT cork in the barrels with technology provider Bubamara V, which will measure what’s happening inside the barrel itself. One of the most complicated challenges in wine making is understanding ageing and perfecting blending. Getting, for the first time, data insights into what happens in the barrels will open a range of opportunities to improve production.
The second track focuses on the waste produced, including waste from the land and waste from the grape peel. Currently, only 2% of this is recycled and reused, so a lot of experimentation is needed to find ways to valorise this resource. The artist Anna Dumitriu will explore how residue and waste from the wine making process can be used in various ways, including possibilities for packaging, bio-textiles, and even paper.
The third track, which where both tracks come together, is in the development of an e-labelling system, giving the wines in the bottles a voice of their own in sharing the story of their journey to sustainability, or how their peel gained a new life, to their customers.
There are numerous challenges for the IOWA project.
Looking purely from the artist’s perspective, for example, Anna’s artistic challenge will aim to develop solutions and strategies for the recycling of waste from the wine production process for value-added artworks, products and designs. The aim is to connect waste literacy and product consumption through e-label. The artist will also explore and experiment with innovative bio-materials using wine waste including bio-textiles, paper, and bio-cellulose. These materials can be developed for diverse functional uses, such as packaging, architectural elements (also for the winery) or used by designers to inspire the wine industry to further explore the circular economy and reduce waste.
When we consider the experiment from the SME’s perspective, we see a number of challenges, including digitalisation for better manufacturing process management and orchestration of activities, as well as real-time production tracking. On the other hand, when looking from the tech provider’s perspective, we see the development of the IoT corks for wine barrels, as well as software for business process modelling in wine production, among others.
IOWA’s expected outcomes include demonstrating how both bringing the latest technology to ancient wine cellars and upcycling wine waste can lead to improved productivity, product quality control and sustainability for the wine making industry. The region’s consortium of wineries is looking over the shoulder of the IOWA team, eager to learn whether this art-driven innovation work can be applied more broadly.