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Turning salt and water into wine

tries have the same sorts of problems," said Dr Dry. "PRD is a whole new growth industry. We have all these PhD students in South Australia who are looking at aspects of PRD; I think there are 5 or 6 now who started this year."

Those students will eventually return home, to grow a greater diversity of crops in an increasing number of countries. PRD is being trialled on tomatoes in Europe, raspberries in Scotland, citrus and grapes in the Mediterranean Basin and grapes in Argentina and California.

It sounds like a case study in innovation and the commercialisation of pure research; also areas that the federal government is being urged to encourage. And a test case it may prove to be, but not necessarily to the benefit of the researchers. Brilliant ideas do not always translate to commercial rewards.

"We have looked at that," said Dr Dry. "You cant patent this idea."

"You are right, I think its a perfect example of innovation, and obviously it would be nice to get more funding to explore other aspects of this," said Dr Dry. "We are getting some funding for PhD students so we shouldnt be complaining too much, but Im about to write another application, and Im not quite sure, with these initiatives that you mention, how were going to get money out of them. Were waiting for someone to tell us the cheque is in the mail."


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Contact: Dr Peter Dry
pdry@adelaide.edu.au
618-8303-7374
Adelaide University
2-Nov-2000


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