Washington State University is looking for a commercialization partner for WA 64, the university’s latest apple release.

The new cultivar is a Cripps Pink and Honeycrisp cross with a pink blush that harvests in late September. Evaluations by WSU’s breeding program and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission show that, like WA 38, it self-thins to singles and doubles, has the potential to be a one-pick variety (with good light exposure) and stores well. 

According to an announcement posted this week on the website of WSU’s Office of Commercialization, the successful licensee will manage domestic and international efforts, including: contracting of nurseries for tree production, sublicensing to growers, trademark management and royalty collection. Sales and marketing of the WA 64 fruit will be the purview of packers and shippers. 

The commercialization opportunity was developed by the university with input from the apple industry through the participation of industry leaders on WSU’s cultivar licensing committee.

The goals of the commercialization agreement are to ensure that all qualified Washington growers have fair access to the cultivar and that the cultivar will have long-term commercial success in the state. Other goals outlined in the announcement of opportunity — and which prospective licensees should address — include how the licensee intends to: protect intellectual property, set up a royalty scheme that will provide funding to the WSU apple breeding program, and manage the release of WA 64 in international markets in a way that will not compete with Washington production. 

More information is available on WSU’s website at: https://commercialization.wsu.edu/announcement-of-opportunity-aoo/.

Submissions will be accepted until Aug. 4, according to Jeremy Tamsen, WSU’s director of innovation and commercialization. 

by Kate Prengaman