horizon2020 framework small DakofakaVIOTRAP PROJECT DAKOFAKA, in its effort to remain a key innovator in the European bio-pesticides sector, has recently concluded VIOTRAP Project (Phase 1). The Project has been financially supported by the European Commission.   Background & Rationale VIOTRAP Project addresses the European Fruit production sector. The latter accounts for 7% of total agricultural output value in EU-28, amounting to a producer value of approximately EUR 25 billion in 2014. The sector employs directly at least 0,60 million persons throughout the EU. If wine grapes and olives production is also taken into account, total output value is estimated at EUR 42 billion and total employment at 3,0 – 3,5 million (full-time equivalent) . The above turnover and employment takes place mostly in European rural areas, thus significantly contributing to rural income and regional development. At the same time, the sector is a nodal component of the EU food and drink sector supply chain, which generates 15% of EU employment and 7% of EU GDP.   The European Fruit Production sector faces numerous structural challenges, in particular related to production efficiency disparities within the EU, overall product competitiveness, as well as increased fruit imports, which have become a cornerstone of EU Development & Cooperation Policy. However, key risk factors affecting fruit production volume, quality and pricing are weather conditions and insects, notably Diptera. Diptera insect order comprises a multitude of species with harmful effects on global cultivation, with overall damage estimated at multi-million euros annually. Among the most damaging species are Dacus (Bactrocera olea ), the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). The damaging effects of the said insect species to fruit production has resulted to the creation of a vast global market for insecticides, which is heavily dependent on spraying and is expected to grow globally from $13,0 billion in 2013 to $16,4 billion by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.7% (2014 to 2019). However, the use of insecticides raises substantial concerns on their immediate to long term effects to ecosystems, animal species and human health resulting to an increasing market share taken up by environmentally friendly solutions (bio-pesticides). Yet, to-date, the European bio-pesticides sector does not offer any reliable solution for mitigation of Mediterranean fruit fly and Spotted wing drosophila. This void is expected to be filled by VIOTRAP Project, which is implemented within the context of HORIZON 2020 Program – SME Instrument.       VIOTRAP Project Project Objectives DAKOFAKA – EVRIKLIS FITSAKIS has developed and patented an innovative method for mitigation of Dacus (i.e. an insect infecting olive trees), branded VIOTRAP D. VIOTRAP D is based on the insect’s trophotropism as well as on its attractiveness to humidity, with the outer color being an extra feature of attractiveness for Dacus and deltamethrine used as the insecticide substance. Viotrap D is fully compatible with the Regulation 834/07 of the European Union for organic farming and has proven to be an excellent way for Dacus control, even in years with high populations of the insect. VIOTRAP technology has been patented (Pat. Reg. No: 20090100114) and fully licensed for distribution in Greece, France and Cyprus (Licensing Zone “C – South” according to Annex I of EU Regulation 1107/2009. VIOTRAP concept presents a unique superiority in comparison to alternative Plant Protection methods, since it remains clearly the only solution simultaneously presenting all the following advantages:

  • efficiency (estimated at 98-99%),
  • cost competitiveness,
  • 100% organic farming compatibility,
  • absence of any adverse effects to beneficial insects,
  • maximum usage safety,
  • zero residue levels on treated fruit crops.

Taking into account the above the aim of VIOTRAP Project is to examine the prospect of expanding VIOTRAP technology for mitigation and control of the Mediterranean fruit fly and Spotted wing drosophila. To this end, VIOTRAP Project (Phase 1) objectives are:

  • to study and thoroughly examine key aspects of existing technology (both technical and business-related),
  • to verify both the technological/ practical and the economic viability of VIOTRAP technology

Project Content In order to achieve the above objectives, Phase 1 of VIOTRAP Project comprised the following tasks:

Task 1: Technical Feasibility Analysis (TFA) Within the context of TFA, important technical aspects of the project were analysed and assessed, mainly through the design of experimental research and pilot applications. In particular, within TFA, extensive field studies, covering main technical & technological parameters embedded in VIOTRAP Technology (e.g. quantities, colours, distances, etc.), as well as their optimum values for maximum control of selected insect species, were designed and executed. These parameters are both internal to VIOTRAP Technology (appropriate colour of the trap cover, composition and quantity of attractants, composition and quantity of insecticide solution, trap structure materials, assessment of the extent to which a common trap could be horizontally used for both species under consideration) and external (appropriate arrangement and distance of traps, effects of meteorological parameters to technology efficiency, etc.). Furthermore, within the context of TFA, an analytical roadmap was laid down, encompassing anticipated technical steps and procedures for industrial readiness and maturity.
Task 2: Business Plan (BP) Within the context of BP, the non-technical parameters associated to the exploitation of the available technology were examined, such as: §  institutional (e.g. licensing issues and procedures, regulations and guidelines on organic farming, international IPR protection, etc.), §  market-related issues (e.g. mapping of existing and potential demand, assessment of existing and anticipated competition, examination of marketing environment), §  operational (e.g. production processes, sales networks and distribution channels, supporting activities), §  organisational (e.g. management of resources, innovation management, project management, quality assurance, risk management, etc.), §  business & marketing (e.g. pricing policies & branding) and §  economic (e.g. estimation of necessary investment and operational costs, assessment of profitability, sensitivity analysis, examination of project financing needs and associated issues or limitations, etc.). Furthermore, within the context of the BP, an analytical cash flow analysis was performed, incorporating selected feasibility metrics (NPV, IRR, etc.). Roadmap of activities and relevant timetable were laid down, encompassing anticipated steps and procedures for market introduction, as well as dissemination and exploitation activities.

RESULTS & IMPACT Project Results Phase 1 of VIOTRAP Project indicated a particularly favourable environment for development of VIOTRAP concept, both on technical and economic terms.   On technical terms, the concept presents a unique combination of positive advantages, such as:

  • 100% organic farming compatibility,
  • absence of any adverse effects to beneficial insects,
  • maximum usage safety, as well as
  • zero residue levels on treated fruit crops,

combined with a harmful insects’ control efficiency standing at 98-99%.   On financial terms, analysis has identified a series of equally positive advantages, such as:

  • the ability to market VIOTRAP products at significant lower costs from existing alternatives,
  • an enormous marketability potential, in particular if existing institutional framework concerning the use of pesticides and relative customer preferences are taken into account,
  • the maturity of the solution, which implies that institutional limitations associated with licensing can be reasonably met.

Furthermore, Phase 1 of VIOTRAP Project pointed out that the prospect of widening the VIOTRAP concept is expected to have a clearly positive impact not only for the company and its dependents (customers, personnel and suppliers), but also for rural communities and the EU as a whole   Finally, Phase 1 of VIOTRAP Project has also pointed out that in order to achieve its objectives and produce the desired impact, the company needs to be engaged in a significant investment effort.       Expected Impact Successful Conclusion of VIOTRAP Project is expected to have a substantially positive impact for all involved stakeholders. In detail:

Expected impact for the enterprise Successful implementation of the company’s business plan, is expected to transform into a global player in the bio-pesticides domain, resulting to a multiplication of activities, employment and skills. Such a development will allow the company to further expand its product base with additional solutions based on existing technology.
Expected impact for the customer base VIOTRAP concept is a mild, environmentally friendly solution for harmful insects control, with a reduced cost comparing to alternatives, and an efficiency approaching 100%. The combination of the above advantages makes VIOTRAP a highly attractive solution both for professional farmers and domestic cultivators, since they can achieve optimum yield at lower costs. These attributes are particularly positive for professional farmers, since they can achieve high product output and quality at lower costs, thus improving their overall competitiveness.
Expected impact for local communities Local communities are expected to benefit from VIOTRAP Project successful implementation in multiple ways: Indicatively, a significant part of the additional business which is projected to be generated by DAKOFAKA – Evriklis Fitsakis, is expected to be directed towards increased employment, increased orders for raw materials, equipment and services, as well as towards increased social expenditure (i.e. taxation and social security contributions). However, the most important benefit for local communities and the society as a whole is expected to be VIOTRAP concept per se, which is expected to serve as a paradigm for efficient business results with negligent environmental impact. Through the extended use of VIOTRAP products, the use of conventional insecticides is expected to be reduced, with clear advantages for soil, underground water and the environment as a whole, resulting to improved conditions for public health Also, the existence of a credible, environmentally friendly solution for harmful insects’ control, is expected to result to toughest measures on conventional insecticides’ use.
Expected impact for the EU as a whole VIOTRAP concept is a novel cost-effective bio-based solution resulting inter alia to: §  secure and sufficient supplies of safe, healthy and high quality food, §  vertical recovery of biological diversity, in particular concerning pollinators and other beneficial insects. Hence, VIOTRAP concept is expected to incorporate significant impact for the EU as a whole, falling directly within the following policy areas: §  protection of consumers’ health and public health in general, §  protection of biodiversity and sustainability, §  improvement of the overall competitiveness of the European farming sector, §  creation of sustainable and competitive bio-based industries, supporting the development of a European bioeconomy.


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