Research Matters July 2019

Welcome to Research Matters. With the Federal election quickly receding in the rearview mirror, we take a look at the implications for health and medical research and in particular, what might be coming up.

To contribute to or discuss any of the items in this edition, please email Greg Mullins, Head of Policy, at greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org, or on (03) 9662 9420.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Research Funding – MRFF & NHMRC
  2. Personal Health Information 
  3. Prevention
  4. R&D

Please click here to view Research Matters July 2019

Research Matters December 2018

Welcome to the last Research Matters for 2018. It has been another big year in policy for health and medical research, and with next year an election year the pace will not let up. While we are fortunate that HMR enjoys support from across the political spectrum there are differences in emphasis and approach that have implications how research is rounded, who is funded to do it, and the types of programs that are funded.

We look forward to keeping you informed in 2019, and are keen to hear from you about what you think the research priorities should be.

To contribute or discuss, please email Greg Mullins, Head of Policy (greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org), or phone (03) 9662 9420.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Research Funding, including MRFF
  2. Public Data
  3. TGA
  4. Charities
  5. R&D
  6. Senate Inquiries
  7. Submissions and Consultations    

    Please click here to view Research Matters December 2018

Research Matters October 2018

There’s certainly been a lot of activity over a range of issues and policy areas recently and we’ve consolidated the key areas for our members in on Research Matters update.

This communication features important information on:

  1. Policy & Advocacy – Your Voice
  2. Consultations, Enquiries & Reviews; Mental Health & Aged Care
  3. MRFF; Grants & Priorities
  4. In Parliament; MHR, R&D Tax Incentives, Electoral Funding Reform
  5. COAG; Obesity, Human Tissue Acts
  6. Submissions Update

    Please click here to view Research Matters October 2018

Australians embrace health and medical research in a changing landscape of healthcare

Media Release
September 12, 2018

Australians continue to place improving hospitals and healthcare as the number one spending priority for the Australian Government ahead of infrastructure, education standards and employment opportunities.

We are pleased to see that more funding for health and medical research is the 6th most important of the 27 priorities presented in the poll. (It has been consistently in top 10 ever since we started polling in 2003.)

Interest among Australians in health and medical research is high with 89% saying they are interested in health and medical research.  However, while confident in their ability to contribute to decision making about the future direction of HMR most Australians don’t know how, and many don’t believe they’d be heard.  Our governments and research organisations clearly have more work to do to meaningfully engage with the broader community.
Continue reading “Australians embrace health and medical research in a changing landscape of healthcare”

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