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Last chance! $3000 R&D travel grant offered by WEA

Following another successful National Conference and Exhibition held in Mildura last week, the Winery Engineering Association (WEA) has issued a final reminder to engineering and operations personnel to enter the association’s annual WEA Travel/Study Award.

Now in its seventh consecutive year, the award provides an opportunity for WEA members to travel interstate or overseas (or locally) in pursuit of information that supports a research project being undertaken by the applicant.

The successful applicant receives a $3000 grant to travel/study and complete their research. But if you’re interested in nominating – you have to hurry, nominations close on 30 June 2007.

Previous winners have included Neil Scrimgeour of Provisor, Peter Graue from Yalumba Wines, Gary McKernan from Montana in New Zealand and Christopher Ripper who have all used the $3000 grant to travel overseas to international exhibitions and conferences as well as visit wineries of special interest as part of their project. Scrimgeour won the grant in 2006 and visited New Zealand to examine bottling lines. He presented a report on his project at last week’s WEA Conference.

In most years, the WEA sets a list of priority research targets for intending applicants to use as guidelines for their project. In recent years, the WEA has been looking for projects that add value to engineering or process productivity, reduce wastage or machinery downtime; or demonstrate improvements in processing or wine quality.

Trevor Leighton, organiser of the annual Winery Engineering Association National Conference and Exhibition, and executive officer of the WEA, said the projects undertaken must relate to winery design, winery processing or wine packaging and that possible international conferences or exhibitions applicants might wish to travel to in the next 12 months include events in Chile, Italy and France.

“The WEA is proud of the Travel/Study Award which kicked off in 2000. We have had some very worthy winners and the message they bring back from their project completion has been very beneficial for our members and the wider wine industry,” Leighton said.

“The successful applicant undertakes in accepting the award, to write an article about his/her project for our WEA newsletter, and to make a presentation to the following year’s National Conference and Exhibition. This ensures the knowledge that has been gained, is shared.”

For further information on the 2007 Travel/Study Grant, please visit http://www.wea.org.au or contact Geoff Patritti at Patritti Wines (08) 8296 8261 or ">w for application criteria or further details.

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