Up to $500,000 is available from the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund to support medical research into health and economic outcomes.

Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund

Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund is a competitive program designed to leverage funding from philanthropic, industry and international sources. Applications will be accepted from collaborations or partnerships between health services, industry, universities and medical research institutes, with a focus on early research and translation. It is designed to capitalise on Victoria’s comparative advantages in health and medical research, increase the efficiency of the Victorian health system and further enhance the Victorian economy’s investment attractiveness.

 

Background

Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 is designed to embed health and medical research into the Victorian health system and accelerate the translation of research into health and economic outcomes. The vision of the strategy is to position Victoria as a global leader in health and medical research, improve the health outcomes of Victorians and strengthen the state economy. The strategy will facilitate the delivery of improved health outcomes and economic benefits for Victoria and the nation by investing in areas of excellence and addressing areas in need of further development.

A key strategic direction of Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 is to stimulate research and innovation by increasing translation and facilitating collaborations between research organisations and industry. The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund will provide up to $3 million per annum for the translation of early stage health and medical research into health and economic outcomes.

 

Objectives

The expected outcomes and/or benefits of Round 3 of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund are:

  • Direct support for innovative early research
  • Increase ability to leverage third party funding (e.g. industry, philanthropy
  • Fast tracked research efforts in areas identified as having translational importance to the Victorian health system, and that facilitate the dual benefits to community of economic growth and health efficiencies
  • Support for collaboration between health services, medical research institutes, universities and industry to attract venture capital and stimulate commercialisation activities and jobs growth
  • Encourage a diversified revenue base for independent medical research institutes, by applying incentives to increase government revenue, philanthropic, commercial and international grant income
  • Positioning of Victoria to receive additional funding from a diverse range of sources and enhance Victoria’s national and international competitiveness.

 

Funding

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund provides $3 million er funding round to help address current market gaps and deliver rewards for research. It supports a small number of research proposals to ‘fast track’ translation into health and economic outcomes.

Round 3 of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund will have funding available for proposals up to $100,000 and $500,000.

 

Eligible Projects

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund Research applications must:

  • Be for early stage innovations, including discovery research, clinical research and/or health practice/ health service
  • Support an idea or innovation to attract peer review funding or investment by industry, philanthropy or other sources
  • Require matching funding to demonstrate capacity to collaborate. To undertake research that has a clear pathway to translation
  • Articulate how the fund will ‘fast track’ the research into health and economic outcomes

Describe how the fund will increase the ability to leverage third party funding eg. from industry or philanthropic sources.

 

Eligible Applicants

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund is open to the following organisations undertaking health and medical research in Victoria:

  • Health Services
  • Industry
  • Universities
  • Medical research institutes

Partnership with another organisation is mandatory and may include health services, universities, medical research institutes, or industry.

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund eligible research proposals will:

  • Advance collaborations, industry-research engagement, and innovation
  • Secure development and commercialisation opportunities
  • Detail potential commercial and/or health application
  • Commence in 2019
  • Publicly communicate the outcomes within an agreed timeframe, including to other researchers, clinicians, students, consumers and health care decision-makers
  • Undertake the work predominantly in Victoria.

 

Timing

Applications for Round 3 of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund close 3 October 2018.

 

Current Recipients

Monash University – $100,000
Researchers from Monash University have highlighted the role of a pituitary-derived hormone on receptors on skeletal muscle receptors to increase systemic glucose tolerance. This discovery describes previously unappreciated, but important mechanisms in the basic control of glucose homeostasis and positions this pathway as a potential therapeutic target for Type 1 diabetes. This research will fast-track the proposal through to clinical proof of concept and progress through to partnership with industry.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute – $100,000
Researchers at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will initiate a feasibility study at the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, partly funded by the Foundation for Prada-Willi Research. This study aims to translate cutting-edge translational research, with the developed capabilities and trained workforce to be applied to rare disorders of significant health-economic burden.

University of Melbourne – $100,000
The project integrates efforts between a university, medical research institute, hospital and start-up company to achieve important health outcomes. It is highly multi-disciplinary, bringing together life science and medicine with biomedical engineering, physics and computing. The Stentrode has been designed to ensure translation to humans; a first-in-human trial is scheduled in 2019 to develop a means of stimulating the brain without the need for open brain surgery.

St Vincent’s Hospital – $100,000
Inflammatory Bowel Disease refers to conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. More than 75,000 Australians have one of these conditions. Researchers at St Vincent’s Hospital have demonstrated through a randomised controlled trial that more than half of patients with active ulcerative colitis who are resistant to drug therapy, respond to changing the gut microbiota by using faecal microbiota transplantation. This study will determine the efficacy of faecal microbiota transplantation for both inducing remission and maintenance for active Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This is the first prospective study to evaluate faecal microbiota transplantation efficacy in Crohn’s disease and maintenance treatment in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and has the potential to revolutionise treatmen