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April 14, 2000

Ontario to boost research in grape and wine industry

St. Catharines - The Ontario government through the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund is investing more than $1.5 million in Brock University's new Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Energy, Science and Technology Minister Jim Wilson announced today.

"Ontario wines have achieved international distinction," Wilson said. "Provincial investments in research at Brock University will help Ontario's wine industry gain a greater share of domestic and international markets."

The province's investment, combined with $1.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and $3.7 million from the private sector, has enabled the university to build and equip a world-class institution to meet the research, technology and training needs of Ontario's grape and wine industry. The training will provide education directly related to in-demand viticulture jobs.

"The provincial government's support of research and development has made it possible for Brock to develop its Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute as a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility that is unique in Canada," said Brock University president David Atkinson.

Research at the Institute seeks to genetically improve wine yeasts and viticulture practices, such as leaf removal, spacing and irrigation.

The Challenge Fund investment supported the construction of Inniskillin Hall, home of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, and the purchase of equipment for the new facility. Launched in December 1996, the Institute is the only institution in North America devoted to cool climate oenology. It is also the only institution in Canada that offers an undergraduate program in oenology and viticulture.

Since 1998, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund has committed up to $250 million to 63 research projects that promote innovation, keep top researchers in the province, and create highly skilled jobs. Contributions by universities, research institutes and corporate partners will mean an investment of more than $700 million in these projects.

For more information, contact:

Michael Farrell
Office of External Relations
Brock University
905-688-5550 ext. 3756

Brian LeGrow
Communications Branch
Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology
416-327-5555

Mike Krizanc
Minister's Office
Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology
416-327-3550

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