New funding for medical research breakthroughs to benefit patients

07 November, 2017

The $35 million in new funding to turn our great medical research discoveries into new medical technologies will benefit patients, as well as deliver great economic returns, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes President Professor Tony Cunningham AO says.

In addition to improving lives, the funding is a smart financial investment, given that medical research delivers health savings and economic returns worth $3 for every $1 invested, Professor Cunningham said.

"We are one of world leaders in great cutting-edge ideas and breakthrough discoveries, right up there amongst the best in the world," Professor Cunningham said.

"This new investment will allow us to get more of these breakthrough discoveries out of the lab and speed up the process of turning them into new drugs, therapies and medical devices.

"This is a great boost for medical researchers, our growing biotech industries, and most importantly, patients, who will benefit from new treatments being developed more quickly.

This new investment is being made available from the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which is a new dedicated fund focused on investing in health and medical research priorities.

The first $5 million will go towards projects that bring 3D anatomical printing and precision medicine, both of which are areas that will revolutionise healthcare in the years to come.

The grant program opened on 1 November 2017, and is being managed by MTPConnect, the government-backed industry-growth centre that is helping to accelerate growth in the medical technologies, biotechnologies, and pharmaceuticals sector.

Professor Cunningham said he was delighted the Government is continuing to put medical research at the heart of the health system, and using it to drive improved health and economic outcomes.

"There’s been some big medical research success stories in Australia, where we’ve turned great research into new treatments, such as the cochlear implant, and more recently the anti-cancer treatment venetoclax

"The MRFF will mean that we can look forward to more successes in the coming years. I congratulate the Government on their steadfast commitment to medical research and its translation into improved health outcomes.

Professor Cunningham also said that the MRFF is set to double the federal Government’s annual investment in health and medical research by 2020-21.

"We are looking at around $120M of additional government funding going to medical research in 2017-18.

"Medical research investment is the foundation on which our medtech and pharmaceutical sector is built, a sector that employs over 48,000 people and supports over $4.6 billion in manufacturing exports

An overview of all the MRFF funding announcements made to date is available on the AAMRI website.