A joint training centre for the next generation of wine scientists and researchers

Australia’s grape and wine industry directly employs over 68,000 people, largely in regional areas, generates $4 billion in sales, $2 billion in exports and underpins a $9 billion wine tourism industry. Undertaking research to tackle the many challenges faced by vineyards and training the next generation of wine scientists are crucial to help maintain the sustainability and competitive edge of the Australian wine industry.

The challenge

There are many challenges to vineyards due to extreme weather events, soil salinity and diseases, inefficient practices, a low level of technological innovation and high input costs which contribute to low profitability in some areas.

Innovative research is needed to find solutions to these risks and  help the wine industry to increase profitability through the production of sought-after, distinct wines that fetch higher prices, and more efficient winemaking processes.

Project name:
ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production (ITTC)  (2018 -2024)

Funding Australian Research Council, $1.49M

Our response

The ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production (TC-IWP) was established to tackle new and age-old challenges to wine production through innovative, multi-disciplinary research over five years (2018-2022).

The ARC Training Centre operated from two nodes – the lead node at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus and a second node at the Gulbali Institute. (Previously the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Charles Sturt University).

The node at the Gulbali Institute has focused on developing rapid methods of analysis to provide tools to evaluate grape quality prior to harvest, developing strategies to improve wine shelf-life and improving our understanding of the transport of plant signals in the coordination of berry maturation.

There has been an emphasis on developing close partnerships between university-based researchers and research end-users to provide innovative research and training opportunities that are industry focused.

The goal

A key objective has been to train the next generation of wine scientists and researchers focused on industry outcomes.

The Training Centre has strengthened Australia’s research capability and future workforce, by establishing pathways for early-career researchers, including learning opportunities within industry.

Our team

Principal scientist

portrait of Professor Leigh Schmidtke
Professor Leigh Schmidtke
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Our research team

portrait of Professor Chris Steel
Professor Chris Steel
Professor of Viticulture
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portrait of Professor Andrew Clark
Professor Andrew Clark
Professor Wine Chemistry
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Dr John Blackman
Lecturer Wine Science
portrait of Dr Xinyi Zhang
Dr Xinyi Zhang
Lecturer in Viticulture
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Dr Zeyu Xiao
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Dr Morphy Dumlao
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Yin Liu
PhD Student
Liang Jiang
PhD Student
Isara Vongluanngam
PhD Student

Key research publications

Connect and collaborate

We are looking for researchers, students, funding and partners to help take our research to the next level.