The Australian wine industry is being hailed as the winner from more than $3.5 million in new research funding secured by the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre.
The NWGIC, an alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the NSW Wine Industry Association, has secured the funding from the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC)
NWGIC Director Professor Alain Deloire said, "The six new projects funded by GWRDC from 2014 to 2016 will focus on various important topics for the Australian wine industry: optimising the flavours and value of grapes produced; forecasting yield; improving soil and vine health; biosecurity; wine spoilage and improving the profitability and sustainability of vineyards."
CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sue Thomas said, "The successful grants from the GWRDC support research projects that will directly support the sustainability of the Australian wine industry."
NSW DPI Acting Deputy Director General, Agriculture NSW, Mr Rob Young said the projects are a significant boost to wine growers across the state.
"The projects are being led by world-class researchers at Wagga Wagga and will help growers improve profitability, disease management and improve efficiencies," Mr Young said.
President of the NSW Wine Industry Association Mr Tom Ward said, "The success in attracting this funding is a testament to the hard work of the Centre teams, including Professor Deloire as Director. The Association looks forward to assisting and being the beneficiaries of this research."
The new research projects funded by GWRDC from 2014 include:
- Sustaining vineyard productivity and profitability by predicting harvest dates (Project supervisor is Professor Alain Deloire and chief investigator is Dr Leigh Schmidtke).
- Improving yield prediction for the Australian wine industry (Project supervisor is Associate Professor Greg Dunn).
- Metal ion speciation: Understanding its role in wine development and generating a tool to minimise wine spoilage (Project supervisor and chief investigator is Dr Andrew Clark).
- Evaluating and demonstrating new disease-resistant varieties for warm irrigated regions (Project supervisors are Dr Mark Thomas (CSIRO) and Dr Bruno Holzapfel (NWGIC) and chief investigator is Dr Jason Smith (NWGIC).
These new projects are in addition to NWGIC's involvement in the recently awarded Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.
The project, led by Adelaide University, aims to develop integrated, whole-of-production-chain approaches to managing flavour and alcohol in wine production, while training skilled researchers.
The NWGIC has also partnered with a network of commercial vineyards in South Australia and NSW to gain a better understanding of how climate affects fruit and wine characteristics. Read more from NSW DPI here.
Under the leadership of Professor Deloiresince the start of 2013, theNWGIC has been developing and implementing a new research and development strategy.
"We are well positioned in terms of expertise, infrastructure and equipment to carry out integrated research programs, working from the vine to the wine, including sensory and consumer science. Collaborative programs are one of the Centre priorities," Professor Deloire said.
The Centre and CSU are now full partners with two international consortiums; VINIFERA (dedicated to international Master of Science students training); and OENOVITI (dedicated to international research collaborations and PhD student training).
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