$30 million investment in national wine research collaboration

19 DECEMBER 2005

Australia’s peak wine research and funding bodies will join in a leading $30 million dollar research collaboration called the NWGIC Winegrowing Futures Initiative.

Australia’s peak wine research and funding bodies will join in a leading $30 million dollar research collaboration called the NWGIC Winegrowing Futures Initiative.
 
The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) based at Charles Sturt University will join with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) to lead research and extension to benefit the future of the Australian wine industry.
 
The collaboration brings together a critical pool of viticulture and wine science expertise from Charles Sturt University, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Deakin University and the NSW Wine Industry Association working with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, the Australian Government’s wine industry R&D investment body. 
 
GWRDC Chairman Mr Dennis Mutton has described the NWGIC Winegrowing Futures Initiative as an important part of the national R&D strategy to achieve industry outcomes.
 
“The GWRDC shares with industry the desire to build on global success and this requires strong and effective collaboration with such bodies such as the NWGIC which have the facilities and personnel to undertake projects in important areas,” he said.
 
“The GWRDC has recognised the NWGIC’s research strengths addressed in this particular initiative, for example, vine health, seasonal impacts on yield and composition, vineyard sustainability, and wine sensory characteristics.
 
“Each of these topics has been given importance by the national wine industry and the Australian Government during a formal consultative process.”
 
The GWRDC will provide $15 million towards the project over five years commencing in 2006. This will be matched by contributions in staffing and extensive use of resources from the NWGIC partners.
 
Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter said, “This is not only a major step forward in achieving national outcomes for the Australian wine industry, but it will also strengthen Australia’s position in global wine trade.
 
“The NWGIC alliance between Charles Sturt University, NSW Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Wine Industry Association and Deakin University will see us pool all of our practical expertise into this research guided by the GWDRC.”
 
NSW Department of Primary Industries Director-General Barry Buffier said the Department’s viticulture research and extension programs would focus on delivering the benefits of the NWGIC Winegrowing Futures Initiative directly to the industry.
 
“Under this partnership, researchers and extension officers will work together with the State’s wine and grape industries identifying priority areas for research to ensure the productivity and profitability of the State’s $2 billion wine industry,” Mr Buffier said.
 
Mr Chris Barnes AM, Vice-President of the NSW Wine Industry Association and NWGIC Council Member, said the Association is pleased to see the signing of the formal agreement. “This represents the culmination of two years of negotiation to secure a better R&D funding deal for NSW and provides the basis for a strengthening of the research contribution from our State.”
 
The Winegrowing Futures Initiative research project will commence next year with the project launch for the Australian wine industry planned for June 2006.

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