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Burnet Institute has joined medical research institutes around the country in expressing relief as medical research was maintained in this year’s federal Budget.
Burnet Director and CEO and Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes President, Professor Brendan Crabb acknowledged the substantial fiscal pressures placed on the government but said he was pleased support for medical research through the NHMRC was maintained in the Budget.
“The maintenance of government funding is recognition that medical research returns a substantial health and wealth dividend to the nation, while providing well-founded hope to those in the community suffering from intractable illness,” Professor Crabb said.
Professor Crabb also commended the new tranches of funding for the Future Fellowship Scheme and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
“The Future Fellowship Scheme in particular, has been absolutely critical in attracting and retaining the best and brightest mid-career researchers in Australia, and helping them to grow their research and transition into Australia’s next leaders on the international stage,” he said.
“It’s this next generation of researchers who will underpin future medical innovations in Australia.”
However, Professor Crabb said that long-term funding for the scheme was needed, noting that new funding was for just one additional round of fellowships.
He also said that medical research institutes lamented the substantial hit in the federal budget to their university counterparts, saying cuts to university funding would impact Australia’s capacity to make future medical breakthroughs.
“If Australia is to continue to find solutions to diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease, and reduce their burden on the health budget, we need long-term funding certainty for our universities and medical research institutes.”
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Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)