Wine industry seeks $225 million R&D investment

Thursday, 02 November, 2006

Australia's wine industry is seeking to boost investment in research and development to $225 million per annum to maintain the edge that new technologies and innovation has given the industry over its global competitors.

In a joint effort, the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA), Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) have released a research prospectus to identify areas that are a high priority for additional research.

WFA chief executive Stephen Strachan said the prospectus was a critical tool to explain what the industry sees as priorities for research and to encourage investment accordingly.

"Cooperative research and development has been a key reason for the Australian wine industry's successful growth, with uptake of new technologies improving results across our value chain from the vineyard to the consumer," Strachan said.

"In the face of a fiercely competitive global wine market, without a continued strong commitment to cooperative research, we risk other countries not only catching up in the use of cutting-edge technologies, but overtaking us."

Strachan said the prospectus outlined the case to boost R&D investment in the Australian wine industry by $50 million over the next five years to help achieve a $225 million target (4.5% of total sales), while also specifying research gaps that the industry saw as priorities for the future.

"The research prospectus, Investing in Innovation, outlines 11 priority areas for investment, specifically highlighting types of research where existing investment is not reaching the future priorities identified by industry," Strachan said.

"Securing optimal research will help us continue to improve our performance at all stages of the value chain and retain our status as a world leader in innovative practices."

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