Research Australia responds to NRF Implementation

Research Australia believes the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) has a vital role to play in creating a mature and vibrant domestic medical products industry as a cornerstone of a post-carbon Australian economy.

We have made four recommendations in response to the consultation on the implementation of the NRF:

    1. The Ministers should obtain the advice of a future Centre for Disease Control about medical products for which there is a critical unmet need for domestic manufacturing. This should be a consideration in how funds are subsequently allocated by the NRF, although not to the exclusion of the need to generate a return on the investment.
    2. Development of the investment mandate for the priority area of medical products should include identification of areas with the potential for profitable domestic manufacturing. This should be a consideration in how funds are subsequently allocated by the NRF, although not to the exclusion of the need to generate a return on the investment.
    3. The Australian Government should create a National Medical Products Industry Plan to accompany the introduction of the National Reconstruction Fund to make the most of all the Government’s investments throughout the health and medical research and development pipeline.
    4. The Australian Government should develop a medical products research, development and manufacturing workforce plan to determine where the gaps in existing skills are and to address them.

Research Australia’s submission addresses most of the questions posed in the consultation paper. The submission is available here

 

Dementia Action Plan needs new funding for research

The Australian Government’s draft Dementia Action Plan has recognised the importance of more research to improving the lives of those living with dementia, their family and carers but has not proposed any actions that will lead to more research being funded.

Research Australia’s submission has addressed this shortfall, and proposed the draft Dementia Research Strategy draw on the work undertaken by the now defunct NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research. We have also recommended the proposed Australian Dementia Research Strategy be an ‘Australian Dementia Research, Innovation and Implementation Strategy’ to better meet the Action Plan’s objective of maximising the impact of research and innovation. Accountability for implementation of research outcomes and the funding of this activity needs to be clearly assigned by the Action Plan and the Strategy.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

Pre Budget submission calls for strategic investment

Research Australia’s Pre-Budget submission to the Treasurer acknowledges the progress made since the election. This includes putting Australian innovation and industry on a stronger footing by introducing the legislation to create the National Reconstruction Fund and Australia’s Economic Accelerator (first proposed by the previous Government). These measures are recognition the Government shares Research Australia’s view that it is no longer good enough to just sell off our best ideas to the rest of the world.

Australia has world leading health and medical research but current investment is inadequate, poorly aligned and failing to deliver on the potential health and economic benefits. In summary, Research Australia has recommended:

    • A National Medical Products Industry Plan with the aim of Australia becoming a net exporter. This can capitalise on the Government’s commitment to the National Reconstruction Fund, and help secure Australia’s national security, by manufacturing more of the products we rely on here in Australia.
    •  A National Health and Medical Research and Innovation Workforce Plan to ensure we have the workforce we need for the future.
    • A national stocktake of health and medical research and development activity across Australia
    • A new Clinician Researcher Fellowship Scheme to help drive innovation efficiency and improved equity in our health system
    • Increased investment in research and development, especially through the funding programs of The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

Read Research Australia’s submission.