Joint Press Release
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
The Hon. Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health
17 October 2014
The Commonwealth Government has announced $538.8 million to help Australian health and medical researchers find the cures, treatments and medical devices of the future.
The funding will support 773 National Health and Medical Research Council grants, which will help ensure Australia remains a world leader in medical research.
It has been estimated that every $1 spent in this field generates more than $2 in health benefits alone.
That is one of the reasons the Government committed to foster more Australian breakthroughs through the Medical Research Future Fund.
There are economic benefits from research, from a reduced burden on our health system, and in the form of earnings from our biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical technology industries.
Australian researchers have been world leaders in medical discoveries, such as the cervical cancer vaccine, the bionic ear, and the world’s first anti-influenza drug.
Our health and medical research sector is worth around $6 billion a year, and is the key driver of productivity and innovation in the healthcare sector, which employs more than a million Australians.
Over the past 20 years, this sector has grown by an average of 12 per cent a year. It is now Australia's largest manufacturing export sector, generating $4 billion a year in export income.
It has strong potential for continued expansion – creating more local jobs in manufacturing, and increasing our export earnings.
This round of NHMRC funding provides $47.3 million towards 19 Centres for Research Excellence and $7.3 million for eight NHMRC Partnerships for Better Health projects.
Nearly $420 million will fund 553 Project Grants, which include research in areas from auto-immune diseases and dementia to antibiotic resistance.
Early Career Fellowships worth $39.4 million will support 125 promising researchers at the start of their careers, while 58 early to mid-career researchers will benefit from Career Development Fellowships totalling $24 million.
Ten researchers will also share in $1.7 million directed to Translating Research Into Practice Fellowships.
Further information can be found on the NHMRC website.