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Launch an R&D project to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the national cork sector

The development work of the R + D + I project has already been launched CORK2WINE under the title "Cork forest management and its influence on the improvement of cork properties, its processing, quality and interaction with wine". The overall aim of this initiative is to apply a new comprehensive approach to cork research. The company Francisco Oller leads this project, in which J. Vigas, Amorim Forestal, Quimivita, Muga and Vilarnau also participate. It has a budget of almost 5,000,000 euros financed by the CDTI and, in part, with FEDER funds from the European Union, within the framework of the CIEN Strategic Program.
CORK2WINE aims to generate the knowledge that allows progress and overcoming the current technological challenges that affect the entire national cork production chain, guaranteeing the sum of competitiveness, sustainability, international positioning and future viability, from the stages of primary production in the forestry sector until processing for the subsequent manufacture of wine corks. This project will also study the optimal and profitable use of the by-products and waste that are generated in the production process for their use in the cosmetic industry, thanks to their antioxidant properties.

The importance of the cork
Although, in general, the cork has been considered a secondary player in wine production, this material plays a fundamental role when enhancing quality wines, since it facilitates a better evolution of the broth and its maintenance in optimal conditions.

For this reason, CORK2WINE responds to the need to develop a sectoral and strategic R + D + I initiative that affects the entire cork production chain, generating scientific knowledge in each of the phases. Thus, the initiative aims to increase the current value and recover the market share of the national cork through the loyalty of the wine sector. In this way, this project aims to apply a new comprehensive approach to cork research to improve the positioning of the national sector linked to the manufacture of corks for the wine sector. In addition, some technological challenges in the sector are addressed that allow for a significant improvement in the processes of obtaining, preparing and transforming cork, paying particular attention to the best cork-wine interaction in sparkling and still wines.

Research centers
This project also has the collaboration of several research groups: the Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation, the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology of the Superior Council of Scientific Research (IATA-CSIC), the Aroma Analysis and Oenology Laboratory of the University of Zaragoza, the Center for Scientific and Technological Research of Extremadura (CICYTEX), the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (GRAG) and the Madrid Institute of Rural, Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDRA).
Finally, it should be noted that CORK2WINE will incorporate almost 100 professionals in the cork and wine sector in a multidisciplinary work team, creating 71 direct jobs (with at least 18 middle, higher or doctoral degrees) and 21 indirect ones. Likewise, it plans to mobilize a global induced investment that will exceed 2,200,000 euros in the period 2024-2027.

About CORK2WINE
CORK2WINE is an R + D + I project that aims to apply a new comprehensive approach to cork research to address the advancement and overcoming of the current technological challenges of the national cork sector, from the stages of primary production in the forestry sector until the subsequent manufacture of wine corks. This initiative also studies the profitable and optimal use of by-products and waste. In short, CORK2WINE aims to guarantee the competitiveness, sustainability, international positioning and future viability of the sector.

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