Chairman, Biomedical Translation Fund Committee
Peter Wills AC
Research Australia Deputy Chair
Biomedical Translation Fund Committee
Mr Wills has a background in architecture, business and local government prior to his involvement in the health and medical research sector.
In June 1996 Mr Wills was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the community. In June 2001, he was appointed as a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to social and economic advancement through the development of public policy in relation to biomedical research and biotechnology.
In 1996 Peter chaired the committee, formed by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Dr Michael Wooldridge, which took on the task of assessing Australia’s health and medical research. The Wills report was released in 1999 and was instrumental in bringing medical research to the attention of the media and increasing funding for Australian science. This report, titled The Virtuous Cycle: Working Together for Health and Medical Research lead directly to the formation of Research Australia and Mr Wills remains an active and important member of our board, of which he is Deputy Chair.
He was also appointed a member of The Biotechnology Consultative Group formed in 1999, to advise Biotechnology Australia and the Commonwealth Biotechnology’s Ministerial Council on the development of the National Biotechnology Strategy. In 2002 Mr Wills retired as Chairman of the Australian Research Council. He has been Chairman of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Chairman of the Australian Research Council and also contributed to the National Biotechnology Strategy. In 2001 Peter Wills served on the committee, Chaired by Chief Scientist Dr Robin Batterham, which lead to the Federal Government’s Innovation Statement.
In 2011/12 Peter chaired the NSW Health & Medical Research Review for the NSW State Government. The Review assessed the current performance of health and medical research in NSW, made recommendations on how the sector can be improved, better coordinated and leveraged; and proposed ways in which the NSW health needs, clinical trials and commercialisation capacity can be better supported or expanded. The majority of the recommendations were accepted by the NSW Government.
In 2016 he was appointed by the Federal Government as Chairman of the Biomedical Translation Fund having a total of $500m to translate and commercialize medical research.