RD&E call to develop the Australian grape and wine community

Wine Australia is inviting research, development and extension (RD&E) project applications in five key areas identified in its recently released five-year Strategic Plan.

The call for collaborative multi-disciplinary proposals will be held in two separate rounds in 2015, with the first round opening today for the priority areas of customer insights and digital viticulture.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the five research areas will help achieve Wine Australia’s goal of a prosperous Australian grape and wine community.

‘These five research areas directly support our two priorities for the Australian wine sector – increasing demand and premium paid for all Australian wine, and increasing competitiveness,’ Mr Clark said.

‘Customer insights research will focus on why customers choose Australian wine and what influences their decisions. It will focus on pre-competitive insights and will link to our extension and market development activities.

‘We are seeking to provide the Australian wine sector with a better understanding of what current and potential customers of Australian wine – both locally and internationally – find desirable in wine, so that Australia can make the wines that will be in greater demand and command higher premiums.

‘Digital viticulture is the development and deployment of digital technologies for viticulture. Research will look into accurate, real-time measurements of key crop parameters in the vineyard and the rapid delivery of information to growers and wineries.

‘This research will provide better decision making tools to maximise fruit quality, control input costs, facilitate management of fruit yield and enable better harvest logistics and fruit grading decisions at the winery,’ he said.

Gaps analysis reports for customer insights and digital viticulture that analyse the research outcomes already achieved, explore the future needs identified by the wine sector and pose potential researchable questions are available at www.research.wineaustralia.com.

Preliminary project applications for customer insights and digital viticulture are due by Friday 14 August 2015.

The application process for the second call will begin in early October 2015, with the release of the gaps analysis reports in the priority areas of climate adaptation, sustainability, and quality and provenance.

It is anticipated the successful research projects from the first call will commence from January 2016 and from the second call in July 2016.