Nothing lost in translation as Medical Research FF priorities announced

The Medical Research Future Fund Advisory Board has announced MRFF priorities the next financial year through to 2021-22. The board estimates $700m will be available to fund them.

The priorities include translational research infrastructure, to make Australian research “more investable.”

“Better integration with and access to (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) support and advanced biomedical translation assets is required to ensure that discoveries are converted to new drug candidates, devices and treatments with quality data and speed,” the board states.

And the way to do this is to; “design a targeted investment program that complements the MRFF’s existing proof-of concept supporting programs by providing timely and strategic access to expertise and infrastructure.”

Good-o, but surely research translation, which the MRFF defines as; “the process of moving research ideas from the lab to the clinic, ensuring new medical discoveries are part of the clinical practice of GPs, specialists and hospitals,” is core to everything it was set up to do.

The other priorities are; antimicrobial resistance, global health and health security, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, ageing and aged care, digital health intel, comparative effectiveness research, primary care research, clinical researcher capacity, consumer driven research, drug repurposing and public health interventions.

Reaction: The Group of Eight was quick to endorse the priorities, calling them, a “significant moment, a significant step” for medical research and for the community. Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said, “the result is a welcome balance between addressing community outcomes … and support for research that will underpin Australia’s capacity to deliver world-leading health outcomes.”

The Innovative Research Universities was also pleased with the priorities; “include various actions IRU advocated for, including dedicated priority status for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.”


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