Medical research institutes 'key focus' of govt review

05 November, 2014

A review of independent Medical Research Institutes (iMRIs) will be conducted by the federal government to ensure they can continue to make a strong contribution to health and medical research in Australia.

Minister for Health Peter Dutton said iMRIs played an important role in Australia's vibrant and collaborative health and medical research sector.

"The review is an opportunity to examine how these organisations currently operate and relate to the wider Australian health and medical research community, and how well positioned they are to respond to the opportunities presented by the Medical Research Future Fund," Dutton said.

"A review panel has been established and will be chaired by former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Professor Graeme Samuel.

"As non-profit organisations, iMRIs receive the majority of their funding through competitive grants for research projects through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

"The panel will consider and make recommendations for improving the viability and competitiveness of iMRIs, with a focus on increasing efficiency and collaboration."

Review process

The Review will consider the business models used by Australian iMRIs, research infrastructure platforms and the translational impact of research as well as opportunities to improve collaboration and partnerships both within the research sector and across clinical settings, universities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, private equity and philanthropic bodies.

Consultation will take place with state and territory governments, medical research institutes and universities. The panel will also consider international models as part of its review.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of January 2015.