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23 Jan 2024
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Wine Australia has been working closely with the AWRI and innovation and commercialisation consultants Impact Innovation to apply a new approach to project development that assesses the paths to realising value from research and co-designs solutions with partners.

The Impact project process embeds a market-facing and collaborative model to project development that accelerates the journey from idea to market – meaning that growers, winemakers and wine businesses access innovations sooner. 

The process is applied to research with a potentially significant impactful outcome, which is different to the process for assessing foundational research that relates to new knowledge creation or scientific developments. 

Dr Angus Crossan from Impact Innovation said the Impact Investment process is a proven methodical approach to assessing which projects are most likely to become commercially feasible with high value to the sector and therefore return greater investment on R&I funds. 

“It is an objective, benchmark-based, ‘shared language’ approach to articulating the value of a project to customers and investors with commercial motivations to see an idea transformed into reality,” said Angus. 

“Focusing on the intended/ideal end-result acts as a sense-check for whether the next stage of research and subsequent activities to support commercialisation are worth doing – for all stakeholders.”

The steps within the Impact Process allows for sector and market needs, opportunities and pain points to be identified before solutions are designed – and that solutions are co-designed with the sector and other investment partners. The process involves the sector and encourages a more direct role in finding solutions to collective problems.

“The process bridges the language and expectations gap between research and investment. It helps funders and investors to make informed and impartial decisions so they can be confident that investments are likely to deliver the returns they want,” Angus said. 

“Furthermore, projects that follow the process become products and services that grape and wine businesses can be confident about purchasing because they have been developed from evidence-based research with commercially-focused backing.”

At the AWRI, this process has been applied to new initiatives in the areas of wine production and quality, sustainability, no and low alcohol wine production. 

It has resulted in eight projects with impact statements that articulate the end benefit of the research to grapegrowers or winemakers and the value for potential investors and a set of associated activities to deliver at a key point in the path to market. 

Wine Australia Senior Research & Innovation Program Manager Dr Paul Smith has helped to lead the Impact Process with AWRI and highlights that the process supports existing excellent scientific research capacity with complementary evidence-based, user-focused market insights, supply chain partner engagement and financial assessments.

“Innovation is about realising value from new ideas,” Paul said. “The Impact projects that are evolving currently have a clear value proposition for different customers in the sector and involve a range of partners that are needed to deliver that value.

"The new way of working takes some adaptation for everyone but the result is that AWRI have developed an evidence-based portfolio of projects. These are well on their way to delivering products or services that will improve the way the sector tackles with urgency current challenges and opportunities.”

The eight AWRI impact projects are: 

  • Generating value from ferment CO2
  • Rapid Brettanomyces diagnostics 
  • Single-step heat and cold stabilisation of wines
  • Smart surfaces for removal of ‘stinky’ sulfur molecules
  • Rapid smoke exposure test 
  • No- and low-alcohol pre-bottle stability
  • No- and low-alcohol flavour stability, and
  • No- and low-alcohol mouthfeel.

This year R&I News will explore these projects in more detail. 

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.