Medical research critical to Australia’s innovation future

Burnet Institute

09 December, 2015

Burnet Institute welcomes the significant boost to health and medical research and innovation outlined in the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced AUD$1.1 billion in funding to foster research and innovation to compete on the international stage, to deal with complex issues, and capitalise on opportunities to ensure Australia’s future prosperity.

NISA includes a $250 million Biomedical Translation Fund to be established by reserving funds earmarked for the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to help expedite investment in biomedical innovation.

The innovation strategy also includes:

  • $2.3 billion funding boost over 10 years in national research infrastructure
  • $13 million over five years towards facilitating more women to undertake science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers (STEM)
  • $48 million over five years to improve STEM literacy
  • Initiatives to drive venture capital investment and improve the commercialisation of Australian research.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said the key component of the initiative is the focus on biomedical innovation, especially promoting pathways to commercialise research.

“Even as an organisation focused on health solutions for the poor, we recognise that unless discoveries make it to market, they cannot benefit anyone,” Professor Crabb said.

“We have long been an organisation with a focus on commercialising practical and inexpensive health technologies that are accessible to everyone. In this regard, the Government’s Innovation plan is a great step forward for Burnet’s work and for our cause of improving the health of the most needy people.

“It is also wonderful recognition that Australia’s economic future is heavily dependent on what we can create with our minds. Fostering innovation in this way gives this nation a brighter future.”

Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) President, Professor Doug Hilton said the announcement underscores the important role innovation in the medical research sector plays in Australia’s economic prosperity.

“So much of the best medical research in this country occurs in medical research institutes that run independently of universities,” Professor Hilton said.

“These institutes, which represent a third of the Government’s investment in health and medical research, are an integral part of the nation’s research sector, with the primary purpose of advancing health outcomes through research and innovation.”

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Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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