Rural innovation to drive Australia’s prosperity

Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud that he has commissioned Ernst & Young to develop a strategic vision for the future of Australia’s rural innovation system.

Tony Battaglene, WFA chief executive said Australia’s grape and wine industry has prospered from strong leadership and innovation.

“Underpinning this success has been the Research and Development Corporation model with matched industry and government funding. This system is the envy of agriculture systems around the world.”

The wine industry has used two processes to drive innovation — through the provision of new knowledge from research and through industry led and directed activity.

Innovation is driven by the companies that make up the Australian wine industry, either individually or collaboratively, and uses information from a wide variety of sources, such as in-house research and technical activity, publicly funded research, extension and education, suppliers to the industry, private companies and consulting organisations, CSIRO, Universities and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI).

“A strategic vision for the future of Australia’s rural innovation system is well overdue and will build on our world class research and extension system,” Battaglene said.

“We are delighted with the focus on more strategic collaboration, improved pathways to commercialisation, and by enhancing the investment environment for research and Ag-tech development.”

“We also welcome the continued support for the current R&D model, which has underpinned innovation and extension for our industry.”