Wine Australia and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) have entered into a four-year agreement that will “maintain unique skills at the AWRI, support rapid response to industry emergencies and transition to new areas of future capability to support the Australian grape and wine sector”.
The new agreement encompassing research, development, extension and adoption (RDE&A) at the AWRI will deliver collaborative and co-designed activities with the sector, which will focus on actionable knowledge, tools and products that will lead to significant impact.
Wine Australia CEO Dr Martin Cole said the agreement establishes a new way that the two organisations will work together.
“Wine Australia and the AWRI have long held the common goal of supporting Australia’s grapegrowers, winemakers and wine businesses, and this agreement has a keen focus on collaboration and growing the overall investment in RDE&A for the sector,” Dr Cole said.
“The agreement will see co-design with the sector feature strongly as it develops foundational knowledge and works to extend and adopt research.
“It will also incorporate a focus on strategic impact projects within sustainability research, no- and low- alcohol wine/new product development, and wine production and quality.
“The Australian grape and wine community has faced significant challenges to its operations and profitability over the past couple of years.
“This new agreement will help us to work together with the AWRI and the sector to develop solutions for current and future needs.”
AWRI managing director Dr Mark Krstic said the agreement is positive news for the Australian grape and wine community.
“This new agreement ensures that the AWRI will continue to provide the world-class research and services that have supported growers and winemakers since 1955,” he said.
“The AWRI team is looking forward to working closely with Wine Australia on innovative co-design processes that will ensure our projects are even more strongly aligned with sector priorities and deliver tangible outcomes for grape and wine producers.”
The agreement reflects the strategic alignment between Wine Australia and the AWRI and a joint commitment to the ongoing success and sustainability of the Australian grape and wine sector.
It also acknowledges the value for the sector of having its own dedicated research organisation supporting all Australian wine regions, including the key inland wine-producing areas.
The key grape and wine sector priorities to be addressed under the agreement include:
- Improving yeast and bacteria performance in winemaking;
- Understanding flavour attributes with current and future commercial significance;
- Generating actionable knowledge of wine compounds for managing production challenges and influencing sensory properties;
- Extending research and facilitating adoption;
- Providing technical support to the sector through the AWRI Helpdesk, the DogBook and the library;
- Working together to obtain additional investment to benefit the Australian grape and wine sector;
- Developing an innovative co-design process with members of the Australian grape and wine sector for solutions in no- and low-alcohol wine production, sustainability and wine production and quality;
- Monitoring and evaluation of adoption of research outputs for continuous improvement; and
- Ensuring successful uptake and continuous improvement of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.