2030 Strategy for Science, research and innovation

As we are all too aware, Australia scores poorly on the translation of its research discoveries into new products and services. We need to improve the extent to which Australia’s research effort is directed to the questions and problems of greatest importance and how effectively our research is applied to provide solutions.

Bringing research and innovation together in the one Strategic Plan provides an opportunity to drive these improvements and to overcome some of the historic divides between programs to invest smartly in research and in programs to support and drive innovation. In addition to the research, innovation and investment communities, active engagement with the state and territory governments will be vital; it needs to be a ‘whole of governments’ strategy.

Just as importantly, the 2030 Strategic Plan needs a whole of community communication strategy to ensure all levels of society understand the imperative for a greater and more strategic investment in research, technology and innovation, and the benefits this can bring as we plan for the Australia we want in 2030.

Download Research Australia’s submission here.

The Australian Health Data Series

Flying Blind | The Australian Health Data Series 

Flying Blind is a series of three reports dedicated to uncovering the acute levels of data fragmentation existing at all levels of Australia’s health landscape.

CMCRC in collaboration with Research Australia is currently working on the second report which examines Australia’s health and medical research data environment and traces the difficulties that Australian researchers face at each stage of their journey as they attempt to access research data. Volume One dived into consumers and digital health through the patient journey, service fragmentation, health data silos, legislation, regulation and policy and consumer concerns and perceptions.

As we write Volume Two: Researchers and the Health Data Maze, we’ll be publishing regular blog posts of interest to this topic. The blog is updated regularly by members of the CMCRC’s Health Market Quality program and Research Australia. If you would like to be a guest blogger please email Lucy Clynes with your expressions of interest.

Bookmark this website today: https://flyingblind.cmcrc.com/researchers-health-data.
Continue reading “The Australian Health Data Series”

Research & Development Tax Incentive

Joint statement on the Research & Development Tax Incentive

Don’t rip the guts out of Australian medical research commercialisation

Commercialisation of Australian medical research is under serious threat if the package of measures put by the ‘Ferris, Finkel, Fraser’ Review of the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is adopted and Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector is urging the Federal Government not to devastate Australia’s most innovative industry.

The R&D Tax Incentive is the most critical centre-piece program in the translation of Australia’s world-class research into treatments, cures, diagnostics, medical devices and vaccines. The program has been successful in helping attract more investment in R&D and fostering a strong Australian life sciences clinical trials and R&D sector.
Continue reading “Research & Development Tax Incentive”

Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates

Research Australia has made a submission to the Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates. Many of the Terms of Reference have relevance beyond brain cancers, cancers with low survival rates and low incidence cancers; our submission approaches the Inquiry from this broader perspective.

Government funding available for health and medical research is finite. While cancers with low survival rates are undoubtedly worthy of more funding, any increase in funding for one area has implications for the funding available to other disease areas. Improvements in survival are related to global research rather than specifically to the volume or subject of Australian research, and it is important that Australian researchers and patients have access to, and contribute to this global effort. This is particularly relevant for low incidence cancers and other rare diseases, because the number of patients in Australia is likely to be low and appropriate research collaborators are in many cases likely to be based overseas. Thus, when allocating funding we also need to consider the level of funding available and the research activity undertaken globally.

Research Australia also suggests there is merit in looking at approaches taken by other countries. This includes strategies such as rare disease policies that have been established in more than 20 countries as a means of providing a policy framework for a considered and comprehensive approach to the provision of research, diagnosis and access to treatment for rare diseases. In an area where the only available therapies are often experimental, a single policy that brings research, diagnosis and treatment together is valuable.

Read the full Research Australia submission today.

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