Save the date for the 2017 Research Showcase!
The Health Beyond Research & Innovation Showcase will be in June 2017. Save 7 & 8 June in your diary!View
Research Australia welcomes tonight’s announcement of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Strategy and Priorities. These are an important step towards the additional $1 billion per annum in funding for health and medical research and innovation.
Research Australia has participated in the development of the MRFF since its announcement by the Government in 2014 and have engaged extensively with our membership in the process of providing feedback and input to the Government and the Advisory Board. This effort has been rewarded, with a Strategy and priorities that set a comprehensive plan for the MRFF, with the potential to bridge the gaps between research, health services, industry and consumers.
Research Australia congratulates the Advisory Board on their success and thanks them for their hard work and vision. We also congratulate Health Minister Sussan Ley for her stewardship of the MRFF to this point and look forward to the MRFF’s further development.
The Strategy’s vision is ‘A health system fully informed by quality health and medical research’ and its Aim is ‘Through strategic investment, to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.’ The objectives underlying this Aim emphasise the importance of creating health and economic benefits, embedding research evidence in healthcare, and driving collaboration and innovation across research and healthcare.
The Strategy itself is new, but provides continuity with existing strategies and programs. It describes the MRFF Strategy as building on the vision outlined in the Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research (the Mckeon Review) undertaken in 2012, and seeks to both work with and complement the programs of the NHMRC, the National Innovation and Science Agenda and Innovation and Science Australia.
The Strategy is not seeking to achieve everything- it identifies its role as reinforcing the existing research pipeline and filling in some of the gaps in areas like health services research and the ‘valleys of death’ at the pre-clinical and the post proof-of-concept commercialisation stages.
The Strategy identifies six Strategic Platforms, which in turn provide a framework for the Priorities identified for the first two years.
The six Platforms and their related two year Priorities are summarised below.
1. Strategic and international Horizons
This Platform seeks to position Australia as a leader and collaborator in several key areas of international significance. Priorities in this Platform are:
2. Data and Infrastructure
This Platform seeks to make better use of existing data and infrastructure. Priorities are:
3. Health Services and Systems
Bolstering health services and systems research is identified by the Strategy as a particular need, and the Priorities are:
4. Capacity and Collaboration
Skills development of researchers and healthcare professionals, and more collaboration across research disciplines and between sectors is identified as critical. The Priorities are:
5. Trials and Translation
Particular attention has given by the Strategy to the role of clinical trials. Priorities under this Platform are:
Overcoming barriers to research commercialisation will initially be addressed by:
Research Australia will continue to work with the sector to ensure the best possible outcomes from this funding game changer. We will provide more information and analysis of the Strategy and Priorities, and related funding announcements as more information becomes available.