Kerrie Pickering receives the Award for Innovation at the recent International Conference on Innovation and Trends in Wine Management.A Brock University presentation about the Ontario wine industry adapting to climate change has been honoured as one of the three best papers delivered at a major conference in the heart of France’s wine country.Master’s student Kerrie Pickering won the Award for Innovation when her presentation was cited from 60 submissions at the International Conference on Innovation and Trends in Wine Management, held recently in Dijon.Her paper was titled “Innovation and adaptation in the Ontario grape and wine industry: An integrated, transdisciplinary response to climate change.” The full list of authors includes Brock scientists Debbie Inglis, Gary Pickering, Ryan Plummer and Kerrie’s supervisor Tony Shaw.As Ontario grape growers see an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, Kerrie said the Brock team is examining the industry’s ability to implement strategies that reduce the impact of climate change.“We are trying to look at the industry’s capacity to cope with extreme events,” she said. “We are developing some strategies to address this but now we need to know what the industry needs to be able to implement and mobilize them.”The research is a collaboration of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, where Kerrie is a project manager. This unique partnership has researchers from different disciplines working together to examine the challenge of adapting to climate change.“A lot of interest with climatic change has addressed and continues to address mitigation,” said Plummer, director of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. “Increasingly there is a realization that adaptation, how you build the capacity to deal with change and adapt, is critical.”Traditionally, research looking at adaptive capacity has focused on one aspect that affects the ability of an industry to adapt to change. Kerrie’s approach was to look at the full set of determinants to have a complete picture of how to build adaptive capacity.The project identified that the industry’s capacity to mobilize resources to support new products and strategies was largely determined by eight key considerations. They are: financial – is there access to economic resourcesinstitutional- is there effective leadership in the industry access to technology political connections perception of risk diversity in income knowledge transfer and social capital.Although this project focused on Ontario, the framework developed can be applied to any wine region in the world by considering the same determinants.The next step for this project involves gaining valuable feedback from the industry. An online survey has been sent to grape growers and vintners in Ontario. Kerrie hopes the responses will give researchers insight that will help them target the support structure to implement adaptive strategies.This initiative is supported by funding through the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation’s (MEDI) Ontario Research Fund, which supports industry-led research and innovation. This project is a collaboration between MEDI, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Grape Growers of Ontario and Brock’s CCOVI. This is part of CCOVI’s heightened emphasis on outreach to the grape and wine industry. read more

by Wayne Parry, The Associated Press Posted Nov 25, 2013 1:43 pm MDT NJ OKs statewide Internet gambling for 6 casinos; Golden Nugget still testing systems AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – New Jersey gambling regulators gave six casinos the green light to offer Internet gambling statewide on Monday.The state Division of Gaming Enforcement’s decision, which came after more than four days of testing the technology involved in online betting and making sure gamblers are within New Jersey, allows the state to join Nevada and Delaware as the only ones offering Internet gambling. It authorized six of the seven casinos that hold Internet gambling permits to immediately offer online gambling throughout New Jersey.“At this point in time, the casinos are trying to gear up for larger play in the state,” division director David Rebuck said in an afternoon conference call with reporters.He didn’t immediately have an estimate of how many people had logged on during the test period but said it had topped 10,000 fairly early during the test.“I don’t expect any widespread, significant problems,” he said.Technically, Rebuck’s order authorized the casinos to continue unrestricted play beyond the test period’s midnight Monday expiration. But because the casinos were already in around-the-clock play as part of the testing, his decision effectively gave them permission to do statewide gambling immediately, he said.The six casinos approved are the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; the Tropicana Casino and Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino; the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Bally’s Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City.The casinos immediately began offering promotional deposits to players. The Tropicana announced a $50 sign-up bonus and said it would make offers to attract people to its brick and mortar casino and its online version.That was good news to Peter Cerrato, of Edison.“I like to go to Atlantic City, but sometimes that two-hour round trip can be a little much,” he said. “I’ll see if this is something I like, but I definitely would still go to the casino as well.”The Golden Nugget Atlantic City was required to continue testing its systems before being cleared for unrestricted play. General manager Tom Pohlman said there were content issues that would have made logging on and playing an unsatisfactory experience for customers.“Playing slots randomly would freeze up and generate an error message,” he said. “That is not the experience I want for my customers. We’d rather get it right than be embarrassed by something that doesn’t work. This is not a sprint for us; it’s a marathon.”He said the glitches could be fixed well before a week has passed.New Jersey began a five-day trial period of online gambling last Thursday. The purpose was to test the technology involved in the games and determine whether the systems are ready for the entire state to log on and play.During the test period, many users were locked out by geolocation software that wrongly determined they weren’t within New Jersey’s borders. Rebuck said the geolocation problems are matters for the casinos and their technology partners to address and weren’t a widespread systemic problem that needs fixing by state regulators.The state will begin reporting the casinos’ Internet revenue starting with its monthly statistical report issued in January.___Wayne Parry can be reached at read more