The federal government is said to be ready to endorse 16 principles to govern Medical Research Future Fund spending. Health Minister Greg Hunt was expected to back them last night, creating a context for MRFF spending, expected to reach $1.2bn by 2022.
The principles focus on applied research, innovation and avoiding, “any ongoing operational or maintenance dependencies.”
Principals seven and eight require the fund to: “appreciate the role of competitiveness in the research sector as a means of identifying great potential and innovation, and raising Australia’s international research reputation” and “encourage partnerships in merit-based collaborative research to engage lateral and fresh thinkers and ideas, and enhance skill and knowledge combinations.”
Last night Group of Eight CEO Vicki Thomson backed the principals, saying the they will “ensure the integrity and success of the MRFF, which will benefit every Australian.” And Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes president Tony Cunningham says, “the application of these principles will ensure MRFF funding is contestable, rigorously peer reviewed, strategically targeted and integrated into our world class research sector.”
The 2014 budget established the MRFF, funded by savings from health spending, with a capital target of $20bn. CMM fool that he is, thought then it would never happen.