Our Policy Platform

Research Australia’s 10 Strategic Imperatives 2015-2025 outlines the issues essential to strengthening our health and medical research sector to deliver better health and a stronger economy for Australia.

Health and medical research has made a significant contribution in the last century to improved health outcomes around the world, and it holds the promise for even greater advances in the future. Australia has world leading expertise in health and medical research, and Australian governments, companies and individuals make significant investments in health and medical research.

While we are doing well, we can always do better. Research Australia believes that by focusing on the 10 Strategic Imperatives outlined in this document we can maximise the health, social and economic benefits our investment in health and medical research provides to the Australian community and the world.

The 10 Strategic Imperatives will enable us make better use of the resources to:

  • Contribute to human knowledge and understanding;
  • Meet the challenges of an ageing population and rising chronic disease;
  • Contribute to an efficient and effective health system;
  • Boost wellbeing and productivity; and
  • Create new jobs and prosperity.

10 Strategic Imperatives

01: A healthy and empowered community

The aim of health and medical research (H&MR) is a healthier community. A community that better understands its own health and the science that underpins it. A community whose members take control of their own health and participate in decisions about their healthcare and the research that is undertaken on their behalf.

02: Encourage giving

Donations are a vital source of research funding alongside private sector investment and governments, and are tangible evidence of the Australian community’s support for H&MR. Giving supplements rather than replaces government and commercial investment, supporting research that is too new, high risk or contentious, and encouraging young scientists to pursue a career in research.

03: Research active health services deliver higher quality care

H&MR is to benefit the community most effectively when researchers work closely with healthcare providers. Health services are enriched and improved when providers are engaged in health and medical research. Research should not be seen as a ‘bolt-on’ but as a vital and integral part of the health system, and one of the valued activities and products of health services.

04: Developing implementation science – turning evidence into action

If the benefits of H&MR discoveries are to be realised, new practices and behaviours that are supported by research need to be adopted by practitioners and the community. Identifying and adopting the most effective implementation strategies to change the practices of health service providers and turns research into practice.

05: Collaborating for success

Modern H&MR is a complex, sophisticated and global endeavour, and collaboration is an essential element. Collaboration makes researchers more productive and effective, improves research quality and ultimately leads to better health outcomes.

06: World class research needs world class researchers

Knowledge and technology have grown over the past decade, affecting the way researchers
work and learn. Trends such as personalised medicine and the growing importance of preventive health have created new disciplines and demand for new types of researchers, changing the way researchers approach their work and interact with each other.

07: Funding research

Public funding is the foundation of health and medical research globally. If we are to continue to enjoy the social and economic benefits of H&MR we need long term, stable and sustainable public funding mechanisms for health and medical research which adequately cover the direct and indirect costs of research and the provision of infrastructure.

08: Encourage commercial investment in R&D

There are important sources of potential funding for research other than the taxpayer. Commercial investment in research helps to sustain the virtuous cycle of discoveries leading to improved health outcomes.

09: A strategic national approach

H&MR is conducted by our higher education institutions, research institutes, governments and corporations and is funded by governments, philanthropy and the private sector. In addition to providing funding there are many government departments with responsibility for areas such as healthcare, industry support, higher education and taxation which indirectly influence the sector.

10: Reduce red tape

Research Australia supports action to improve the efficiency of the sector by identifying, reforming and eradicating ‘red tape’- practices and procedures that are inefficient and/or ineffective.

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