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.
The Turnbull Government continues to deliver on the promise to establish a flow of funding into health and medical research $20 billion capital target to be achieved in 2020-21.
Part of the $10 million announced in the 2017-18 budget is to be allocated to the existing AHRTCs ($8 million) and $2 million to help the existing and new AHRTCs and CIRHs.
Tuesday’s announcement concerned the $2 million being allocated to Monash Health Partners, an active member of Research Australia, the AHRTC built around Monash University. It will fund a number of projects across cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes to improve access to and use of new and existing services.
More announcements to come as they gear up to notify the sector of funding for other AHRTCs and Centres for Innovation in Regional Health.
[Read the full media release]
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.
Media Release: Wednesday 4 May 2016
Research Australia, which represents 160 health and medical research organisations, has described last night’s budget as mixed bag – with some wins, some losses and some more detail required.
“The Federal Government is making all of the right noises when it comes to innovation, health and research, and it is pleasing that they remain on the agenda,” said CEO Nadia Levin.
“The budget would be described by my members as a combination of ‘treatments, placebos and nocebos’, and the challenge for government is to back it up with funding.”
Continue reading “Federal Budget a Combination of Treatments, Placebos and Nocebos for Health and Medical Research”
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