Medical Research Future Fund

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What is the Medical Research Future Fund?

The Medical Research Future Fund is a grant to support research projects that boost illness prevention and promote early intervention.

 

Overview

The Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund is a $20 billion investment in the health of Australians, our economy and the sustainability of our health system.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is supporting researchers to discover the next penicillin, pacemaker, cervical cancer vaccine, or cochlear ear.

 

Background

As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to provide a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research over the medium to longer term.

The Medical Research Future Fund offers the opportunity to strategically fund research and address national priorities in a cohesive and coordinated way. It complements existing medical research and innovation funding to improve health outcomes by distributing new funding in more diverse ways to support stronger partnerships between researchers, healthcare professionals, governments and the community. Funding will complement the work of the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Commonwealth Science Council and the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, including the Biomedical Translation Fund.

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Strategy and Priorities

As required by the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015, the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board developed the inaugural Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021 and the accompanying Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018. These documents were registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 9 November 2016 and announced by the Government on the same day.

The Strategy and Priorities have been considered by Government in deciding the first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund.

 

The key streams

The key streams of the Medical Research Future Fund are:
  • Patients – The MRFF will deliver more advanced healthcare and medical technology that will improve the health of Australians.
  • Researchers – The MRFF is supporting our best health and medical researchers to make breakthrough discoveries, develop their skills and progress their careers in Australia.
  • Research Missions – Missions are programs of work with ambitious objectives that are only possible through major funding, leadership and collaboration.
  • Research Translation – The MRFF funds research translation – turning research discoveries into new treatments and cures.

 

Funding

Contributions to the Medical Research Future Fund endowment have been sourced from savings within the Health portfolio that will accumulate until the capital target of $20 billion is reached. Disbursements over the first five years of the Medical Research Future Fund are projected to be $1.4 billion, and when the fund matures it is anticipated that annual disbursements of up to $1 billion per annum.

The first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund focus on translating research into real health benefits, breakthrough investments in new technologies and health challenges, and enhancing Australia’s reputation for research excellence and leadership.

From 2016-17, the first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund will inject over $65 million into a range of programs that cut across the research pipeline – fuelling new discoveries and the translation and commercialisation of great Australian ideas.

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Medical Research Future Fund

How to apply

To apply for MRFF funding, you need to be registered with GrantConnect. By registering, you will be notified about new grants in your area of interest.

You will need to review the eligibility requirements for any MRFF program funding you are interested in applying for as each of the grants will likely have differing requirements to apply.

 

More Information

FAQs

The Australian Government funds the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The Government contributed savings from the health budget to the fund until it reached the goal of $20 billion in July 2020. 

MRFF stands for “Medical Research Future Fund”.

NHMRC administers some MRFF grant opportunities on behalf of the Department of Health. As such, participation as a member of an MRFF Grant Assessment Committee is independent of, and should be considered separate to, any existing NHMRC peer review responsibilities.

To further support Australia’s world-leading medical researchers, the Australian Government will invest almost half a billion dollars in funding for health and medical research.

Funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), $471.9 million in funding will support hundreds of research leaders and teams around the country to undertake research that will ultimately save lives and make Australians healthier.

This investment includes:

  • $399.7 million for 254 Investigator Grants, NHMRC’s largest scheme, which provides funding over five years for the highest performing researchers at all career stages.
  • $44 million for 17 Centres of Research Excellence over five years, building collaborative teams and developing capacity to improve research translation into better health outcomes.
  • $4.6 million in targeted funding to support four projects developing coordinated and best practice interventions for better care at the end of life.
  • $1.5 million for collaborative research on osteoarthritis to be funded in partnership with the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research.
  • $1.8 million to fund a clinical trial at Melbourne Health involving combination immune therapy for type 1 diabetes.

The MRFF is a research fund set up by the Australian Government in 2015. 

NHMRC, through MRFF, funds most of the clinical trials in Australia.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) administers Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grants. Organisations can apply to NHMRC to become an MRFF Eligible Organisation (MRFF EO). This will allow them to be separately identified in NHMRC’s grant management system and to apply for MRFF grant funding. 

The MRFF Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Strategy 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 (Evaluation Strategy) sets out the principles and approach used to monitor and evaluate the MRFF. It outlines the need for evaluations to be independent and impartial.

The Evaluation Strategy aims to be transparent in process and outcomes. It aims to be agile to the needs of the MRFF, its consumers and stakeholders (such as the health and medical research industry).

It also aims to establish a learning system to provide information to support continued improvements within the MRFF, such as future design and implementation of MRFF grant opportunities.

Several organisations contribute to the management of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF):

Latest News

Five promising digital health companies in Australia have been selected for the ANDHealth+ commercialisation program, which is funded by the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The companies will receive up to $3.75 million in equity-free funding and hands-on support from a network of industry experts to scale their products and services nationally and internationally.

The five companies are:

  • Atmo Biosciences: Pioneering the world’s first ingestible, gas-sensing capsule to provide insights into gut health and microbiome function.
  • Eugene: Focused on facilitating access to genetic testing and informed health decisions.
  • Humanetix: Powered by an artificial intelligence-driven care engine to deliver clinical workflows and recommendations for individual patients.
  • Immunosis: Developing diagnostic products for patients with life-threatening immune deficiencies.
  • Metabolic Health Solutions: An integrated medical technology and digital health company aiming to deliver better metabolic health outcomes for patients.

ANDHealth+ is a highly competitive program, and the selection panel has been impressed by the quality of applications over time. The program has a strong track record of success, with cohort companies raising over $148 million in new funding and generating revenues in excess of $49 million.

The MRFF is Australia’s largest ever investment in medical research, and it is playing a pivotal role in supporting the development of new and innovative health technologies. The ANDHealth+ program is a great example of how the MRFF is helping to accelerate the commercialisation of digital health solutions.

This news is a positive development for the Australian digital health sector and for patients who stand to benefit from the innovative products and services that these companies are developing.

Source

EMVision Medical Devices (EMV) has provided an update to its shareholders regarding the progress of its clinical trials. The company’s portable, noninvasive, affordable, and safe neuroimaging devices are now operational at all three clinical trial sites. Specifically, the Princess Alexandra Hospital sites in Brisbane have successfully enrolled patients, and the maintenance of enrolment levels has been described as “excellent.”

In a significant development, EMV has achieved a milestone under its project agreement with the Australian Stroke Alliance (ASA). The company received a non-dilutive milestone payment of $600,000 for its “Algorithm validation study – patient enrolment commenced” program. The ASA, funded by the Commonwealth of Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), has played a crucial role in supporting EMVision’s innovative therapies.

Scott Kirkland, the CEO and Managing Director of EMVision, expressed the company’s vision to drive innovation in stroke management. Their technology aims to facilitate earlier diagnosis during the acute phase and enable monitoring of patients post-treatment and intervention, even in remote locations. EMVision’s ongoing study is generating essential data from both initial and follow-up scans. The company is committed to accelerating enrolment into the study and plans to keep the market informed about its progress. Ultimately, EMVision aims to gather the necessary data to make major market regulatory submissions, including to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Source

Two research projects, funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) with grants totalling over $2.2 million, are set to revolutionise healthcare delivery through digital health interventions. These projects will evaluate the feasibility and impact of remote monitoring devices for cancer and cardiac patients.

Led by Dr. Ganessan Kichenadasse, the first project focuses on remote symptom monitoring in cancer patients. With 135,000 Australians undergoing anticancer treatment annually, leading to adverse effects and costly hospitalizations, remote monitoring can enable timely intervention by allowing patients to report symptoms digitally.

Under the leadership of Professor Anand Ganesan, the second project explores remote monitoring for patients with pacemakers or defibrillators. This safe and effective alternative to in-office checks provides accurate data for diagnosis and treatment, while enhancing convenience by allowing direct sharing of medical information with doctors.

Successful outcomes could lead to widespread implementation of remote monitoring, resulting in early problem detection, simplified treatments, reduced hospitalizations, improved patient health, and lower healthcare costs. The grants from the MRFF support the objective of enhancing Australians’ health through innovative research and development.

Source

Science and Technology Australia (STA) are calling on the federal government to establisha $20 billion “locked box of capital” which the peak body estimates could contribute up to $2.3 billion for the economy each year.

The Science Future Fund would target investment in discovery science research projects that require longer term support beyond short-term grant funding cycles. It should be modelled on the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), a $20 billion sovereign fund made up of five years of federal treasury savings and held in perpetuity. STA previously called for the establishment of a Science Future Fund, but only called for an initial investment of $2.4 billion.

The MRFF has awarded nearly $2.3 billion in research grants since its establishment in 2015, and STA estimates that a Science Future Fund would add $2 billion to the economy annually. A similar $1.6 billion Future Health Research and Innovation Fund is held by the Western Australian state government, which awarded $63.6 million in grants in its first two years of activity.

Source

 

Brain imaging technology company EMVision Medical Devices has given an update on progress of its clinical trial and a Medical Research Future Fund-backed R&D program, with the latter seeing the company access a $600,000 milestone payment.

The clinical trials are in the pre-validation phase and running to schedule, according to a statement from EMVision on Wednesday. 

EMVision is currently developing a first-generation scanner for bedside use in emergency departments and other clinical settings, in parallel with a second-generation version designed for first responders. These are an alternative to CT and MRI scans and designed for detection of strokes at a critical early stage.

Approximately half of 30 participants for Stage 1 (healthy volunteers) have successfully enrolled in the clinical trial, with all 30 expected to be enrolled “in the coming weeks”, said EMVision. This will activate Stage 2 of the trial, “involving up to 150 acute stroke/stroke mimic patients.” 

Source

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