Nov 15, 2016

Australian Government prioritises translational research

The announcement of the Australian Government's Medical Research Future Fund strategic priorities has been celebrated by the research community. The MRFF objectives align remarkably well to the goals of the ONJCRI.


Research Institutes around Australia have eagerly awaited the announcement of the strategic priorities of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), since the Fund Bill was passed in Parliament in August 2015.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a $20 billion vehicle for investment in health and medical research. It represents the single largest boost to research funding in Australia’s history. The MRFF is expected to disburse around $1 billion annually, beginning in 2021, effectively doubling the Australian Government’s direct investment in health and medical research and innovation.

Last week, the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and the Health and Aged Care Minster, the Hon Sussan Ley MP outlined the strategic priorities of the MRFF at the annual dinner of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes in Canberra.

The announcement of strategic priorities is being celebrated widely by the research community. On behalf of the member Research Institutes, AAMRI Board Member and President Elect Professor Tony Cunningham AO congratulated the Government for their commitment to this nation-shaping fund.

He said, “This is an historic day, and couldn’t have come at a better time. This will deliver renewed confidence to scientists, knowing that within the decade we will have a doubling of funding for medical research via a safe-guarded future fund. It will ensure we retain the very best and brightest researchers here.”

Whilst the MRFF strategy does not identify specific health issues as targets for investment, Scientific Director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI), Matthias Ernst is confident the objectives of the MRFF align remarkably well with the goals of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.

In particular, the Fund will look to invest in supporting the capacity for researchers and clinicians to collaborate in a translational research environment and maximise opportunities for the translation of research by engaging with consumers.

“This focus is critical to ensure discoveries made in the laboratory can rapidly improve patient health outcomes in the clinic,” said Scientific Director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Professor Matthias Ernst.

Professor Ernst said “The MRFF is a real boost to medical research that will catapult Australia into the 21st Century. We hope the community will be equally supportive of medical research. With greater funding, we can ensure a healthier future for all Australians.”  

Related Releases

AAMRI: Celebrations as medical research priorities for MRFF announced by PM, Health Minister

Department of Health: Medical Research Future Fund