Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC
Burnet Institute has welcomed the release of the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018, and the accompanying Strategy 2016-2021, as a significant step forward for health and medical research in Australia.
The Priorities will inform targeted research investment in new and promising drugs, treatments, preventions, medical devices, and talented scientists, with money from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC said the Priorities would assist the embedding of medical research into the healthcare system to address Australia’s ongoing health needs, and help the community live longer, healthier lives.
Recommended by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board following community and sector consultation, the Priorities include a focus on clinical trials and clinical researcher fellowships.
The Strategy promotes the improved use of health data to save the health system money, and reduce the physical burden of unnecessary tests and treatments on Australians.
President of the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), Professor Tony Cunningham AO, said the Priorities and Strategy take the MRFF from an exciting concept to a game-changing opportunity that will save lives, reduce healthcare costs, and drive innovation.
“We are making so many promising discoveries in the lab but just need the opportunity to develop these further into new treatments for patients. The MRFF, guided by the new strategy and priorities, will allow us to do this,” Professor Cunningham said.
“We congratulate the Government on delivering on their commitment to this nation-shaping fund, as they continue to add to the MRFF and help it grow to its $20 billion target by 2021, at which point it will disburse $1 billion per year and effectively double government investment in health and medical research.”
It’s expected the first grants from the MRFF will be disbursed later this financial year.
“This will deliver renewed confidence to scientists, knowing that within the decade we will have a doubling of funding for medical research via a safe-guarded future fund,” Professor Cunningham said. “It will ensure we retain the very best and brightest researchers here.”
Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP announced the Priorities and Strategy at the annual AAMRI dinner at Parliament House in Canberra, in conjunction with Health Minister the Hon Sussan Ley MP.