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Competitive grant program expands Washington wine industry’s research reach

SEATTLE (October 15, 2019) – The Washington State Wine Commission will launch a competitive grant program in 2020 to expand its reach and support of viticulture and enology research. The new program establishes the means to encourage scientists, regardless of location, to focus on research issues important to Washington’s wine industry as well as collaborate with researchers at Washington State University.

Research is a cornerstone of the Washington wine industry, which contributes more than $6 billion of in-state economic impact. The new grant program is a component of the industry-approved strategic research plan that will carry forward Washington’s world-leading viticulture and enology research program to support and fund projects worth $5.5 million through the next four years.

The new competitive grant program is designed to encourage research collaboration with other wine regions and leverage research funding opportunities. The program will utilize the Unified Grant Management for Viticulture and Enology website to coordinate submittal of research proposal applications with other grape and wine research funding organizations, including the American Vineyard Foundation, California Table Grape Commission and Oregon Wine Board. The website opens for submission on December 1, 2019 and closes January 31, 2020.

The grant program will complement the Washington wine industry’s ongoing financial support of the long-standing statewide Grape and Wine Research Program, which funds grape and wine research conducted by WSU scientists. The statewide program, financially supported by the Auction of Washington Wines, Washington State University, the Wine Commission and state taxes collected on all bottles of wine sold in Washington, has funded more than $1 million worth of WSU research in each of the last three years.

The Wine Commission, for the first time, will also fund short-term, demonstration projects to be conducted by Washington colleges and universities. The one-year grants will target practical, rapid application winery and vineyard trials as well as provide funds for proof of concept research ideas. See the Washington State Wine website for full details on these applications, which will be accepted from December 1, 2019 to January 15, 2020.

The Wine Research Advisory Committee will review research proposals during the Wine Commission’s annual Research Review on February 25-26, 2020 at the Clore Center in Prosser. Washington wine industry members are invited to attend the research review to hear progress reports of continuing projects and new proposals and provide industry feedback to the Advisory Committee for consideration when it makes research funding recommendations.

For additional information, contact Melissa Hansen, Research Program Director at: [email protected] or view the grant program details.

About Washington State Wine

Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, the mission of the WSW is to raise positive awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing and education while supporting viticulture and enology research to drive industry growth.  Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, the WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org

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