Congratulations Peter Wills AC, new Chair of Australia’s $500M Biomedical Translation Fund

Media Release: Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Biomedical Translation Fund is one of Australia’s best hopes to bridge the “Valley of Death” between medical research and commercialisation or clinical practice.

The Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt, today announced that the founder of Research Australia, Peter Wills AC, will chair the new Biomedical Translation Fund.

“Peter Wills AC is a great choice to champion the multi-million dollar Biomedical Translation Fund,” said CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin.

“Peter is Deputy Chair and founder of Research Australia, and after the 1999 Wills Report brought together the broad and diverse alliance of health and medical research members that is Research Australia today.

“Australians are great at doing ground-breaking research, however the important early stages of capital investment to move innovations from a concept to a patient’s reality prove difficult.

“That’s where Peter and the Fund will come in to bridge the gap that sees too many promising Australian health and medical research projects disappear into the ether or overseas.”

Minister Greg Hunt officially made the announcement at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research this morning in Melbourne.

“I feel privileged to have been invited to chair this committee and really look forward to working with my colleagues over the next few years to advance the Fund successfully,” said Peter Wills AC. 

“The creation of this Biomedical Translation Fund is a very important and exciting value add to the research sector.

“At the moment, Australia has a very high quality of basic research, but we really have to do a lot more in terms of commercialising the intellectual property for the benefit of all Australians.

“Through the Fund we will be appointing several managers who will work to address this challenge and indeed go some way to rectifying it.

“Together we will look to identify the medical research elements that we think can be developed and commercialised. This will be a great mechanism for effectively seed funding promising projects.”

The Australian Government has committed $250 million over two years, with the intention of attracting matching funding from the private sector to get it up to half a billion dollars.

Media Contact: Phil McCall 0438 619 987 or 02 9234 3822

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