Federal research money will help Brock help grape growers and wineries

The Campaign for a Bold New Brock

Federal research money will help Brock help grape growers and wineries

Dec. 16, 2009

The federal government announced today that the Grape Growers of Ontario and Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute will receive up to $1.9 million to fund new research that will directly support Canada’s grape and wine industry.

Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, made the announcement at Brock on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz. Dykstra said $1.45 million, or 75 per cent of the money, will come from the federal Developing Innovative Agri-Products program, which supports industry-led science and technology projects that help make Canada’s agriculture sector more innovative and competitive. The remaining money will come from industry.

“This is a great day for Brock and a great step forward for Canada’s grape and wine industry,” said Dykstra. “Our government recognizes the long-term benefits to our community of investing in this important industry in order to ensure it remains sustainable and competitive on a global basis.”

Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario, said, “We are pleased with the federal government’s announcement to invest in the Ontario grape and wine industry. We look forward to working with all industry partners to ensure prosperous and sustainable growth within the grape and wine sector.”

CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said the funding will add two key positions to its research team, scientists whose work will focus on priorities identified by the industry itself.

“Today marks a turning point for Brock and for our grape and wine industry,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “Working with wineries and growers, we will develop outreach programs based on industry priorities. If sudden issues occur, CCOVI will now have the resources to work with industry as soon as these issues arise, and work toward solutions at an accelerated pace.”

Brock President Jack Lightstone called today’s news another sign of the growing partnership between the University and the community. “This is an example of how we strive to take our knowledge and research out of the labs and into the fields and wineries,” said Lightstone.