Medical Researcher becomes Australian of the Year

Congratulations to the 2017 Australian of the Year recipient Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. Research Australia is thrilled that a medical researcher has been chosen for this honour.

Professor Mackay-Sim has spent over 20 years making discoveries on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells. He and his team proved it was safe to transplant nasal cells to the spinal cord.[1]

In Prof Mackay-Sim’s acceptance speech, he highlighted the importance of investing in research for the future.  Continue reading “Medical Researcher becomes Australian of the Year”

Research Infrastructure Draft Roadmap

Research Australia has provided a response to the Chief Scientist’s Research Infrastructure Draft Roadmap, released in late 2016. Research Australia’s submission has addressed the proposal for a new national advisory group, suggesting the functions of this group could be preformed by existing bodies. It has also emphasised the importance of engagement with state and territory governments in relation to investment and reiterated the importance of workforce planning for a skilled workforce to build, maintain and use research infrastructure. Research Australia has called for greater transparency in the funding of major research infrastructure and suggested some further clarity about the circumstances in which the national interest can be invoked to justify new infrastructure spending.

Research Infrastructure Roadmap Submission

Curing Cancer? There’s an app for that

Media Release: Friday 28 October 2016

Imagine being able to press fast-forward on efforts to cure cancer while you sleep. Seem
impossible? Well it’s not.

This ground-breaking idea has earned the creators of DreamLab a nomination for Research Australia’s newest award, the Data Innovation Award.

Vodafone Foundation’s DreamLab app uses the collective processing capacity of smartphones to crunch numbers and compare genetic profiles of tumours.

Continue reading “Curing Cancer? There’s an app for that”

R&D Tax Incentive – Response to the Review

Research Australia has made two submissions into the federal government’s R&D Tax Incentive review.

R&D Tax Incentive Submission 2016

R&D Tax Incentive Submission 2015

Research Australia supports the report’s recommendations to:

  • maintain the current eligibility criteria
  • introduce an incentive to encourage collaboration with publicly funded researchers
  • to release more information about claimants.

Research Australia has opposed the application of a new $2 million cap to small caps that are seeking to commercialise HMR and proposed a modification to a recommendation that would limit the R&D Tax Incentive to more research intensive companies.

The Government will now consider the recommendations of the Review together with the responses from the public consultation and then formulate its response, which is expected to be subject to another round of consultation, probably early next year.

$1.277 billion transfer for Medical Research Future Fund: Australian Government puts innovation money where its mouth is

Media Release: Friday 26 August 2016

Australian health and medical researchers have welcomed a significant step to secure Australia’s health and medical research future.

The transfer of $1.277 billion to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account is being read by the sector as words in action.

“This is Prime Minister Turnbull and Health Minister Ley doing exactly what they said they would do – build our health system and build an innovation nation,” said CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin.

Continue reading “$1.277 billion transfer for Medical Research Future Fund: Australian Government puts innovation money where its mouth is”

Public Sector Data Availability and Use

The Productivity Commission is undertaking an Inquiry into the availability and use of public data. Research Australia’s submission in response to the Issues Paper emphasises the importance of improved access to public data as a means of facilitating Australian health and medical research. It highlights the importance of linked datasets and identifies a number of cultural and legislative barriers to the greater use of data for research purposes. It also provides some case studies and makes some recommendations for improvement.

Data Availability and Use

Entrepreneur’s infrastructure programme

In the May Budget the Federal Government announced that it was replacing a range of existing industry support programmes, including Commercialisation Australia, with the Entrepreneur’s Infrastructure Investment Programme. In June 2014 the Department of Industry launched a discussion paper on the Programme, and Research Australia made a submission. Research Australia’s submission emphasised the importance of building collaboration between publicly funded research organisations and private sector entrepreneurs, the importance of viewing researchers both as a resource to entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs in their own right, and suggested a number of measures which would support the successful commercialisation of Australian public research.

Entrepreneur’s infrastructure programme

Social Impact Bonds – Submission to the SA Government

The South Australian Government issued a discussion paper seeking on the suitability of Social Impact Bonds to fund innovative new programs. Research Australia’s submission proposes the use of Social Impact Bonds to address the well recognised problem of translating research outcomes and discoveries into practice in the health system. Specifically, Research Australia believes that Social Impact Bonds could be an effective mechanism for funding and evaluating pilot projects and clinical trials designed to implement and evaluate new evidence based practices and interventions. The benefits of implementing successful new interventions are improved patient care and efficiency gains in the South Australian health care system.

Social Impact Bonds South Australia