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French connection to boost research

The January 2006 issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker reported that research into wine anti-oxidants is the subject of the first collaborative doctoral program between Charles Sturt University's (CSU) National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) and the Paris-Grignon National Agronomics Institute in France.

French student, Celia Barril has arrived at the NWGIC in Wagga Wagga to undertake eight months of research before returning to France.

“This is the first Cotutelles program between Australia and France for wine industry research, which allows PhD students to simultaneously enrol in both a French and foreign institution,” said NWGIC director Professor Geoff Scollary.

Funded by Australia’s Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, the PhD project will focus on the chemistry of ascorbic acid and sulphur dioxide that together are used to protect white wine from spoilage through oxidation.

The Paris-Grignon National Agronomics Institute (INA P-G), a Government funded higher education and research institute and one of France’s leading engineering schools or Grandes Écoles, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CSU to promote collaborative education and research programs.

The MOU formalises a long-standing relationship between CSU’s Professor Geoff Scollary, and the French INA P-G’s Professor Douglas Rutledge.

Regarded as the foremost higher education provider for life sciences in France, the institute trains graduates in food and agricultural production, biology and environment as well as service industries.

Charles Sturt University is one of Australia’s leading wine science and viticulture teaching and research institutions. Located at CSU, the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) was established in 1997 by the University, NSW Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Wine Industry Association with Deakin University joining in 2003. The centre is Australia’s premier institution serving the Australian wine industry.

Professor Rutledge, an INA P-G scientist, has been appointed an Adjunct Professor at CSU. Professor Rutledge is widely known in Europe for excellence in analytical science and the modelling of scientific data. His appointment will enhance the use of analytical chemistry as applied to wine industry problems through collaborative research programs with NWGIC director, Professor Scollary.

Barril, who holds a Master’s degree from France’s University of Nantes, started two years of her PhD program at CSU from the end of 2005 and one year at INA P-G in Paris.

This doctoral project fits under the French Government’s Cotutelles program, which allows PhD students to simultaneously enrol in both a French and foreign institution.

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