The LIFE programme is the European Commission’s funding instrument created in 1992 aimed at supporting ecological transition via a sustainable economy and the use of “clean” energy. It is dedicated to protecting, restoring and improving the quality of the environment, air, water and ground by adopting any means that prove to be effective in reaching this goal.
Antonio Carraro spa, leader of a cluster of European companies has been awarded European funding from the LIFE programme worth € 3.2 million for a funding period of 36 months. The fund will finance the ATENA project (Advanced Tractors with Electric implemeNts for Agricultural green revolution) which involves the development of a full hybrid and a full electric tractor, combined with electrified implements. The project’s aim is to demonstrate a reduction in polluting emissions through the application of electrified technology in “heroic” agriculture (cultivation on impervious terrain). German company, Ero GmbH, a leader in the manufacture of implements for wine production is a strategic partner in the project along with Ecothea, a start-up at Turin Polytechnic as well as the Consorzio di tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG as a territorial public body.
The kick off meeting for the companies coming together for the ATENA project was held on the 6th of September at the Consorzio di tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG. Each member of the consortium has already participated in projects aimed at sustainability over the years, often relying on highly qualified professionals, well-aware of the project’s principal objective which might produce new techniques in viticulture and winemaking.
Engineer Damiano De Checchi, R&D Director at AC spa commented: “The ATENA project underlines and reinforces the pathway that our company has been following for many years now towards sustainability. It represents acceleration towards the next technological phase. A “jump forward” as our late President Antonio Carraro loved to define each important technological evolution, that would lead us to a new corporate transformation in readiness for any future challenges coming our way.”
“For thousands of years, wine has united the people in what is now the European Union. For two generations, the company ERO has dedicated itself to the cultivation of this cultural resource, basing itself on the three pillars of sustainability which determine profoundly our development and production. We firmly believe, bearing in mind the ATENA project’s objective, that we will be able to make a substantial contribution to this long-sighted project thanks to the versatility of our implements that adapt themselves perfectly to our customers and their needs. We cannot wait to get to work with Antonio Carraro, ECOTHEA and Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG”. Dr. Ignatz Wendling, Head of R&D ERO GmbH.
“This project has technological roots in our research group from which the graduates making up the team of ECOTHEA engineers come – says Aurelio Somà full professor at DIMEAS Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Turin Polytechnic, founding partner of the start-up ECOTHEA – Participating in a European project with a large and well-known company in the Italian sector like Antonio Carraro is a source of enormous pride for us. Furthermore, the presence of an important consortium such as the Consorzio di tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG is confirmation of the interest and growing attention the world of agriculture is displaying in the development of green technology but, above all for us technicians, it needs to be the overall aim for the design and improvement of prototype vehicles whilst following the performance and functional indicators coming from the field”.
The Director of the Consorzio di tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, Diego Tomasi, declared: “Participating in the ATENA project provides us with a double opportunity: the first is the high level of professionalism offered by the other partners and the second is the concrete opportunity to test out prototypes which will certainly change the driving force in our vineyards in the near future. The winegrowing world is also rapidly adapting to themes concerning environmental sustainability: greater respect for the ecosystem, such as a massive reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicides alongside the reduction of CO₂ emissions, will lead to carbon free vineyard management”.
“We are proud to be at the forefront in the participation of concrete projects that can aid vineyard management on behalf of the producers” echoes the President of the Consorzio di tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, Elvira Bortolomiol and she goes on to say: “We bear a great responsibility towards not only our members but also our territory to provide new solutions that can improve the task at hand and render it easier whilst being aware of their environmental impact. To be sustainable means to be constantly aware of new techniques and ideas and this is why we want to follow in this direction”.