Building an extensive and optimally functioning innovation ecosystem that delivers ground-breaking outcomes for the wine industry is a very high priority within Winetech. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has shown how new technologies will disrupt various sectors. The agricultural sector is indeed one of the sectors that showed substantial investment in new technologies.
The wine industry can’t afford to stay behind and therefore over the last few years open innovation challenges attracted new role-players to showcase how their novel ideas or technology can address complex industry problems. Winetech and a number of start-up companies are currently experimenting with specific industry role-players to test these technologies to demonstrate how it can add value for the industry.
An innovation ecosystem for industry
- Translates academic research into commercial ventures and grows the industry through innovation;
- Attracts start-ups & students to participate in pitching dens and open innovation competitions;
- Delivers outcomes that lead to process, product and business model innovations;
- Attracts investment for innovation in the wine industry.
Core objectives and desired outcomes
- To create an innovation roadmap that delivers innovative-products, processes and business model outcomes across the entire wine industry value chain;
- Build an ecosystem of strategic partners that will invest in start-ups and innovative research outcomes in order to deliver solutions for complex industry problems;
- Collaborate with the Incubator community and key wine industry stakeholders to pilot new technologies in order to demonstrate how agritech solutions can deliver innovative outcomes to problems in the industry;
- To prioritise projects that could yield ROI in the shortest possible time.
Overview of work done and what was achieved
- Open innovation competitions and pitching dens to test the ecosystem (University launch labs, SA Innov summit);
- Pilot projects – Innovation Ecosystem roadmap development – Terraclim, Phenolab, etc;
- Innovation Committee establishment – Lean Canvas;
- Engagement with strategic partners local & international;
- Collaboration with flagship programmes to showcase the value of new technology;
- A database of early-stage startups in the South African wine industry.