Following several successful joint ventures with Riverland Wine, Adelaide University has offered to bring a small bus-load of scientists (nine) and engineers (nerds) to work with 10 of the our most creative growers (thinkers) in an exercise to prove there are no boundaries for this region’s wine growers in terms of transitioning to precision viticulture or ‘hands-free hectares’.
In recent years we’ve read a lot and spoken a little about Precision Viticulture, Apps and Robotic Devices. Some have even dared to mutter about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Language but that’s as far as we’ve gone. Now we have an opportunity to share our most imaginative thinking about working smarter not harder; to reduce or eliminate input costs with some of the sharpest minds on the planet. The AI school at Adelaide University is regarded as ‘world’s best’. The Nerdy 9 are all advanced, high achieving graduate engineers across a range of relevant disciplines.
The purpose of the workshop is for the Thinking 10 to put before the Nerdy 9, ideas that we only dream about. No matter how radical, imaginative or aspirational the growers ideas or concepts may be, the nerds are confident they can construct solutions. The Nerds know nothing about growing grapes, vineyards, trellis, grape growing machinery, soil management, irrigation, canopy or yield management or any other aspect of winegrowing. During the course of the morning they will visit a local vineyard where the thinkers can ‘show and tell’ and explain all of the above. The groups will return to the research centre, have a bite to eat and clarify the challenges in more detail. The Nerds will then travel back to Adelaide, set to work and return a month or so later with solutions!
Besides having amazing living standards, some of the best vine growing conditions on the planet, plentiful water, world class irrigation infrastructure and some of industry’s smartest innovators we have education systems and opportunities to research, learn and convert knowledge into practical cost saving work practices. Most of our competitor countries can only dream about conditions and opportunities we already have in the Riverland. They may have lower labour costs but we have the opportunity to convert knowledge into lower input costs, better yields, better quality and more sustainable vineyard management programs.
We will provide progress reports over coming months.