Investing in Medical Research – Medical Research Future Fund

The Australian Government will invest $65.9 million in first disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). These new research programs will stimulate work to deliver new medical breakthroughs, enhance patient care and access, improve health system outcomes, ensure Australia’s security and drive innovation.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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Funding of $642.9 million will be made available in 2020–21, bringing total investment in health and medical research over the first five years of the MRFF to $1.4 billion. This is in addition to Australian Government’s funding of around $900 million per year for the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Why is this important?

Health and medical research saves lives and plays an essential role in health system improvement.

The MRFF demonstrates the Government’s strategic and unequivocal commitment to health and medical research.

The research investments proposed under this measure align with the independent and expert Australian Medical Research Advisory Board’s Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016–2021 and related Priorities 2016–2018, developed to address research gaps along the discovery, development and translation pipeline.

The first round of investments will be made in the following areas:
  • $20 million for preventive health and translating research – including solutions to everyday health care problems, preventing chronic disease, and supporting health system efficiency and sustainability. This funding includes:
  • $10 million for Advanced Health Translation Centres to conduct research on clinical variation, pathways/transition and access to care.
  • $10 million for The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre to generate low-cost, translatable and scalable interventions to promote the adoption of good health practices, prevent disease and keep people out of hospital.
  • $33 million to build research excellence and leadership – including supporting the next generation of clinical researchers, ensuring Australia is a preferred destination for clinical trials research, and accelerating efforts in treatment and cure; and
  • $12.9 million for breakthrough research investments – including advancing cutting edge science and new technologies through to proof-of-concept and tackling big health challenges like antimicrobial resistance and pandemic protection.

Who will benefit?

These research programs will help build the capacity of the health system, introduce new treatment possibilities, increase the effectiveness of existing interventions, reduce unnecessary waste, underline the importance of preventive health, and support the researchers of the future.

MRFF investment will also help inject confidence into Australia’s expanding biotech industry, applied engineering and manufacturing capacity, create jobs around innovation, and make Australia an attractive destination for clinical trials research and business investment.

The health and medical research sector and key stakeholders will have certainty of funding for their work, and Australians will benefit from life-changing discoveries.

How much will this cost?

This measure disburses $65.9 million from the MRFF, which was established in the 2014–15 Budget.

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