Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
05.28.2014  
 

Oregon Wine Research Institute Refocuses Efforts

New program coordinator Mark Chien will oversee work but not set priorities

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
“mark
 
Incoming program coordinator Mark Chien begins work today at the Oregon Wine Research Institute.
Corvallis, Ore.—Mark Chien officially takes the reins as program coordinator of the Oregon Wine Research Institute today, but the organization he joins has changed greatly from the top-down institute envisioned six years ago.

“Mark’s role will be to coordinate grant applications, webinars, programmatic activities—but he’s not going to be directing any of that in the sense that he will call the shots, so to speak,” David Beck, chair of the Oregon Wine Board research committee, told Wines & Vines recently.

No more director
During a review and restructuring of the research institute’s organization, leadership made the decision to dispense with a director for the institute and move toward a more collaborative structure with clear relationships between the various stakeholders.

“The concept of a director ceased to exist,” Beck explained. “We vested the scientific direction of the whole operation in a committee of the whole of the faculty.”

Meanwhile the Oregon Wine Board, through a standing committee on research policy that includes institute faculty, will set priorities for the 10 faculty members appointed to the institute, who will continue to operate within Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The arrangement allows industry, which contributes to the institute through the wine board’s annual research budget of $270,000 (it approved funding this week for nine projects ranging from Patty Skinkis’ work on Pinot Noir crop load to Walt Mahaffey’s work on powdery mildew), to have greater input regarding research activities, in partnership with the university.

Program coordinator role
Chien, who was selected for the institute earlier this year following a national search process (see “Oregon Institute Hires Program Coordinator”), will serve as a linchpin of sorts, overseeing program activities without setting the priorities that determine what those programs are.

The scenario aims to address the conclusions of a report Bill Nelson (a former president of Wine America who served as executive director of the Oregon Winegrowers Association until 1994) prepared at the request of the OWRI following the resignation in 2012 of the institute’s one and only director, Neil Shay (see “Oregon Wine Institute Mulls Future”). 

Nelson’s report praised the research institute’s potential but highlighted a division between the university’s and industry’s understanding of the institute and their respective roles. Nelson recommended that the research institute be part of the academic function of the university (the primary owner of the institute) but collaborate more with industry.

The new structure works toward this middle ground, ensuring Chien and the institute’s faculty are entirely within the university but subject to a standing committee that includes representation from industry and faculty.

It’s also the culmination of a process that has seen oversight of the institute shift from a largely administrative position to one focused on developing research relationships and, now, a role no longer vested in a single person but the individual stakeholders.

 “With the original version of OWRI...if you drew an organizational chart, it was just covered with dotted lines, so nobody knew who was responsible for anything,” Beck said. Now “there are no dotted lines, it’s a very clear set of relationships—and a very clear set of responsibilities—we think.”

The cleaner structure promises to make the institute more competitive when it comes to applying for grants.

“It certainly does make it easier to organize larger multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator projects now that we have a committee responsible for conducting the research,” Beck said. “It should make us more competitive for grants.”

Renewed priorities
Tom Danowski, executive director of the Oregon Wine Board, is optimistic about Chien’s arrival, and reiterated his hopes for greater collaboration with researchers at Washington State University.

“We have governance, we have talent, we also have some renewed priorities,” he said. “There will be opportunities for intelligent collaboration with Washington State researchers, where that is sensible.”

But there’s also room for continued evolution of the institute as the new model is tested in practice and the industry changes. The new structure includes a strategic advisory group comprised of representatives of both the institute and industry charged with looking toward the future.

“I’m not sure I would necessarily say that 10 or 15 years from now it’s going to look like it does now; in fact, in all honesty, I hope it evolves substantially,” Beck said. “We want to continue building this to have the kind of track record of accomplishment that one finds at Cornell or UC Davis or Washington State.”

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $575 million
5%
$7,743 million
6%
September 2013 $550 million $7,311 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $163 million
16%
$1,708 million
11%
September 2013 $141 million $1,538 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 166
14%
226
18%
September 2013 145 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 10.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • October 26
     
    Pinot on the River
     
  • November 1-2
     
    Temecula Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting
     
  • November 5
     
    Single Vineyard Night
     
  • November 5-6
     
    Southeastern United Wine & Grape Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: The 'Sideways' Effect »
 
Thank you for this research that confirms what many thought about the pinot noir effect....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Fine for Volunteer Labor Makes Wineries Wary »
 
This is so incredibly asinine. And my taxes go to help fund these over-reaches? No...
Reader: Philburtonj
 
Article: Paso Winegrowers Back on TTB Track »
 
Unfortunately, they will be named Drought sinkhole #1, #2, #3, etc. Really, 11 different flavor profiles...
Reader: Donn Rutkoff
 
Article: Optimization of limited water resources in irrigated vineyards »
 
Very interesting article! Sap flow monitoring was in the past mostly used for research but...
Reader: Virginie Scoarnec
 
Article: New York OKs Out-of-State Grapes »
 
If the resultant wine, using out of state juice,bears the "American" on the label, I...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Vineyard Tour And Tast...
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Retail Associate
 San Diego, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Fun And Well Paid Wine...
 Matawan, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Consultant For L...
 Benicia, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Accounting Associate
 Napa, CA
Finance
 Full Time Retail Wine ...
 New York, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Account Sales Manager,...
 Pheonix, AZ
Sales and Marketing
 State Manager, New Jer...
 New Jersey, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Direct To Consumer Sal...
 Salem, OR
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Visitor Center Coordin...
 Calistoga, CT
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.