veski delivers taste of innovation for regions

1 December
veski chief executive officer with the Minister for Agriculture (centre) and representatives of the funded projects and founding partner the John T Reid Charitable Trusts
veski chief executive officer with the Minister for Agriculture (centre) and representatives of the funded projects and founding partner the John T Reid Charitable Trusts

Sensors, farmers paired for perfect pear while new app maps ‘pepper’ of Shiraz

A new app to help Victorian winemakers map ‘pepper’ levels in Shiraz and a collaboration with farmers and researchers using sensors to choose the perfect pear for new markets are all being supported through the inaugural veski sustainable agricultural fellowships announced by the Minister for Agriculture.

The Hon Jaala Pulford MP, Minister for Agriculture made the announcement on Wednesday, 2 December 2015 in Shepparton with farmers, researchers, government, community and industry representatives joining key people from the funded projects to celebrate veski’s investment in regional communities through this national program supporting projects identified by the communities themselves.

The inaugural veski sustainable agricultural fellowships, which address key challenges identified with input from industry, farmers, community groups, government and academics to determine the key challenges for regional Australia and what problems need to be tackled, will support national and international researchers including:

  • Victorian Dr Pangzhen Zhang from The University of Melbourne who is developing a ‘pepper’ map to define the distinctiveness of Victorian wine; 
  • Università di Bologna’s Professor Luca Corelli Grappadelli who will be paired with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) and industry collaborators to determine the viability of pear varieties for Asian markets.

veski sustainable agricultural advisory board member Professor Snow Barlow, who is a leading researcher in the agricultural sector, said the two projects announced today exemplify the cutting edge innovations occurring in our regional communities right across the country, and provide knowledge and expertise for a range of industries from viticulture to horticulture.

“We received a large number of expressions of interest from a range of industries, which is a clear demonstration that Australians hold the answers to many of the challenges currently facing our regional communities – and while it was difficult to select just two projects for this round, we are confident they will prove the need for additional support in the future,” Professor Barlow said.

veski chief executive officer Ms Julia L Page praised the Minister for her commitment to innovation in the region and said the veski board was delighted to be back in Shepparton with her to make the announcement of the recipients after she had made the call for expressions of interest earlier in the year.

veski has seen so many innovative ideas brought forward for funding since the Minister launched these fellowships earlier in the year, and we are looking forward to seeing – and tasting – the partnerships, products and processes these fellowships will facilitate,” Ms Page said.

“From the mapping of critical information for winemakers to the collaboration between farmers, government and researchers to find the perfect pear for our Asian neighbours, each project is an example of Australians working together to tackle some of our most complex problems.”

The veski sustainable agricultural fellowships are supported by the program’s founding partner the John T Reid Charitable Trusts.

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