The Medical Research Future Fund is providing grants for research projects that boost illness prevention and promote early intervention.

 

Overview

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is investing to supercharge the growth of our health and medical research, while fuelling jobs, economic growth and export potential.

The MRFF delivers better and more advanced health care and medical technology for Australians. It supports our inspiring researchers to make the next big medical discoveries that benefit all Australians. It’s about giving hope to Australians in need, where previously there was none, and creating the opportunity to have a better and longer life.

 

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. Through the Medical Research Future Fund, the Government will deliver a major additional injection of funds into the health and medical research sector.

The MRFF 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. MRFF 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.

The MRFF is managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians. The Treasurer and Minister for Finance set the investment mandate for the Medical Research Future Fund that provides broad direction to the Future Fund Board of Guardians in relation to its investment strategy. Net earnings on Medical Research Future Fund capital for a given financial year will be available for drawdown the following financial year, with the capital of the MRFF preserved in perpetuity.

 

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 MRFF.

 

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.

 

Medical Research Future Fund – Latest News

3 October 2019 – $8 million for ground-breaking clinical trials

The Morrison Government is investing $8 million in world-class clinical trials focusing on conditions affecting the heart, preterm baby lungs, the brain, infection control and dementia.  Five Australian-led trials will receive funding from the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund International Clinical Trial Collaborations program.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia will receive $1.8 million to investigate the best approach for treating severe narrowing of the aortic heart valve (aortic stenosis), which is a very common condition.

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20 September 2019 – 4 Projects received funding to find answers to important health questions

The Morrison Government is investing more than $6.6 million in four research projects that seek to answer important public health questions around melanoma detection in high-risk patients, the effectiveness of breast MRIs, the cost of chronic fatigue and mobile x-rays at residential aged care facilities.

These projects are funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) $39.8 million Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Initiative.

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18 July 2019 – $21 million for dementia research

The Morrison Government will provide $21 million for 13 research projects that will focus on risk reduction, prevention and tracking of dementia, Australia’s second leading cause of death.

This brings the total investment under the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Boosting Dementia Research Grant scheme to $200 million.

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26 March 2019 – $65 million to unlock the potential of personalised medicine through genomics

The Liberal Government will provide over $65 million in competitive research grants to Australia’s best and brightest researchers to unlock the power of personalised medicine through genomics and potentially find cures for cancer, children’s illnesses and diseases with low survival rates.

This new type of medical treatment works by looking deep into each patient’s cells, analysing their DNA to work out how to target and destroy the cancer or disease. The result is a tailored treatment based on the individual and it means we can find out what medicine might work for a particular disease and then get it to the patient.

These grants are the first competitive call for applications under our Government’s $500 million Genomics Health Futures Mission, which was announced at last year’s Budget.

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26 February 2019 – $220 million for research to tackle heart disease and stroke

The Liberal National Government is launching a comprehensive research effort to tackle the nation’s two biggest killers – heart disease and stroke – with an unprecedented $220 million for a 10-year Mission for Cardiovascular Health.

The funding, awarded under the Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), will support Australian researchers to make game-changing discoveries, develop a global biotech industry and enable the implementation of changes in healthcare.

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08 November 2018 – Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018-2020

Antimicrobial resistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, and Aged Care are among the second set of Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) priorities for 2018-2020. These priorities will help guide the Morrison Government’s project investments.

The 12 new priorities include:

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Global health and health security
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Ageing and Aged Care
  • Digital Health Intelligence
  • Comparative effectiveness research
  • Primary Care research
  • Clinical researcher capacity
  • Consumer-driven research
  • Drug repurposing
  • Public Health interventions
  • Translational research infrastructure

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08 October 2018 – $1 million to support the rehabilitation of stroke survivors

The Morrison Government will invest $1 million to improve recovery and rehabilitation and help stroke survivors back to work. The National Stroke Foundation will receive $1 million over three years through the Medical Research Future Fund for the Return to Life, Return to Work research package.

The project will enable more Australians of working age who have had a stroke to access new innovative and cutting edge treatment options to aid their recovery. The package will include a clinical trial of Perispinal Etanercept in Australian stroke patients.

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