The smart state of Vic medical research

The Victorian Government has long found a positive in the pandemic – pitching investment in medical research as essential for Australia

And now it pulls together sundry spending in a decadal “health and medical research strategy.” There’s no new money but there is a plausible statement of why the state is involved.

“One of the most important lessons of COVID‑19 — as demonstrated by the difficulty to secure mRNA vaccines — is that Australia is over reliant on global supply chains. Socially and economically, Australia must become more self‑reliant in areas of national interest — including health.”

The document reports the state’s commitment to;

* GenV: $30m for the “largest childhood research project ever developed in Australia … equitable, evidence‑based interventions and changes in Victoria’s health, welfare, education and services”

* $50m “to accelerate mRNA manufacturing, research and development

* $400m for the Australian Institute of Infectious Disease, involving Uni Melbourne, Burnet and Doherty and Walter and Eliza Hall institutes, Murdoch Children’s RI and CSL

Smart stuff. Health and medical research is a no-lose for state government, picking what it wants and leaving the Commonwealth with the blame for not funding all the good research that the NHMRC and MRFF does not support.