The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) in Adelaide has secured a major infrastructure funding boost from a combination of Federal and State Government sources.

Bioplatforms Australia, which manages investment funding through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), together with the South Australian Government and the AWRI will collectively invest $11.1m for metabolomics and associated activities at the AWRI from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

This significant investment builds on the success of the AWRI’s existing metabolomics facility, which was established in 2008 with support from Bioplatforms Australia and the South Australian Government. The facility supports local and national researchers and industries through the development and provision of metabolomic analysis. It operates as a collaborative service platform, providing access to infrastructure and specialist expertise to academia and industry across all interested sectors.

Following signing of the new investment agreement, AWRI Managing Director Dr Dan Johnson said “This new funding allows for the expansion of the AWRI metabolomics facility in terms of capital equipment, skilled staff and capacity to support projects.”

“The outcome reflects very positively on the efforts of the metabolomics team to deliver high quality services and infrastructure to agricultural industries and researchers. The AWRI is grateful to Bioplatforms Australia and the South Australian Government for their continued support.”

“The investment will allow all major capital equipment in the metabolomics facility to be renewed and, excitingly, will add new capacity in the form of a NMR instrument for analysis of liquid samples. This will be the first such instrument on the Waite Campus, providing benefit to a range of co-located research organisations. The investment will also facilitate new research projects with industry and academic partners.”

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the NCRIS funding will bring strong, long-term industry and research partnerships, nationally and internationally that will boost outcomes in health, agriculture and the wine industry.

“This will significantly build our state’s cutting-edge science and research infrastructure that is essential for many of our important industry sectors. It will help us to continue to attract, develop, grow and export a highly skilled workforce, including the next generation of researchers,” Minister Pisoni said.

Metabolomics refers to the comprehensive analysis of the complete set of all low molecular weight metabolites, the metabolome, that exist within a biological system such as grape juice, yeast or wine. The metabolome consists of hundreds to thousands of molecules with widely varied chemical and physical properties. Metabolomics gives scientists the ability to look at things from a ‘global’ perspective; to see the bigger picture of what happens during biological processes such as fermentation.

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