Digivitis: a collaborative innovation born in Switzerland

The people who are writing the Digivitis story are many: the passionate teams of FELCO of course, and also the students in the Innokick Masters course, partner grapegrowers, the Canton of Neuchâtel, universities, technology companies, the research center, specialists in people and technology, etc. Digivitis has developed out of a virtuous ecosystem that makes it a business solution adapted to the needs and constraints of winegrowers.

Working together to address present and future challenges
For 75 years, the FELCO group has been innovating continuously to provide its customers with sustainable solutions that meet their needs. In recent years, digitisation has become a major lever for differentiation and performance. A large number of estates are logging on, adapting their working methods and increasing their knowledge through digital technology.
In 2015, FELCO decided to use its network of specialised educational institutions to explore digitization, not merely applied to cutting products, but extended to address the wider needs of their customers.

FELCO challenges the Innokick Masters course
The Innokick Masters course in Innovation of HES-SO (Applied Sciences School of Western Switzerland) was selected for this ambitious project. The goal was to imagine a new product or service around new vineyard pruning trends, using Design Thinking, an approach to innovation that is people oriented.
Thanks to their multidisciplinary team of engineers, designers and economists, the group of students brilliantly took up the challenge by meeting and exchanging views with many winegrowers from all over the world. In 2016, the Digivitis concept came to life with the idea of creating a connected solution that can help professionals manage their estate.

The Canton of Neuchâtel is a partner in the project
By the end of 2017, the concept was finalized and its business plan had been established. The Canton of Neuchâtel is contributing to the financing of the project. FELCO then formed a consortium of universities, specialized companies and grapegrowers to launch the operational development of the new Digivitis service.

Creation of a community of beta testers

The solution is currently being tested and validated with pilot customers in French-speaking Switzerland and France.
Digivitis has been developed on the basis of a logic of joint design, by bringing together a panel of end users of the solution and the FELCO innovation team. The aim of that approach is to offer a business solution entirely designed to meet the needs of growers and their teams.

Digivitis will take its first steps in the French and Swiss markets from 2020. This new service, which was awarded a prize at the SITEVI Innovation Awards 2019, is the result of an overall collaborative approach that places people at the heart of a new connected solution. Digivitis was designed and built along with the grapegrowers, and is a decision-making aid that is directly connected to the vineyard and its people to make it easier to manage the estate.