Burnet Institute has welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government review of independent Medical Research Institutes [iMRIs] to identify what’s needed to safeguard their contribution to health and medical research in Australia.
Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb, said it was important for the sector and government to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the health of the community.
Federal Health Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, said iMRIs play an important role in Australia’s active and collaborative health and medical research sector.
“The review is an opportunity to examine how these organisations currently operate and relate to the wider Australian medical and health community, and how well positioned they are to respond to the opportunities presented by the Medical Research Future Fund,“ Mr Dutton said.
“As non-profit organisations, iMRIs receive the majority of their funding through competitive grants for research projects through the National Health and Medical Research Council. The panel will consider and make recommendations for improving the viability and competitiveness of iMRIs, with a focus on increasing efficiency and collaboration.”
Incoming President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes [AAMRI], Professor Doug Hilton said the review provided the iMRI sector with the chance to showcase its efficiency and impact on improved health and economic outcomes for the nation.
“A review to improve the efficiency of our independent medical research institutes presents an opportunity for effective, positive policy outcomes,” Professor Hilton said.
Mr Alastair Lucas AM, who is taking extended leave as Burnet Institute Chair, has been appointed to the review panel. The other panel members are the former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Professor Graeme Samuel (Chair), Professor Warwick Anderson AM, and the Chair of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Matthew Grounds.
Professor Hilton said the panel members care deeply for iMRIs and the research they undertake,
“This review has the best interests of iMRIs at its core,” said Professor Hilton.
The review will consider the business models used by Australian iMRIs, research infrastructure platforms and the translational impact of research as well as opportunities to improve collaboration and partnerships both within the research sector and across clinical settings, universities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, private equity and philanthropic bodies.
It’s expected the review will be completed by the end of January 2015.