Turning Medical Research into Commercial Reality

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Page last updated: 07 December 2015

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7 December 2015

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

This new Biomedical Translation Fund represents the first substantial investment from the larger Medical Research Future Fund.

It will operate alongside the Medical Research Future Fund to expedite investments in biomedical innovations.

The Fund is an initiative within the new National Innovation and Science Agenda, which includes measures to help innovative Australians take their ideas to the market.

The Agenda represents a commitment by the Government’s to nurturing a healthy innovation ecosystem.

The Government will establish the Biomedical Translation Fund by reserving $250 million of funds from its landmark Medical Research Future Fund which is still expected to reach $20 billion by 2019-20 and disburse $1 billion a year.

The Biomedical Translation Fund will make investments in promising discoveries, injecting the necessary funds to progress commercialisation. A selection process will analyse the merits of proposals, including the expected costs and benefits.

“By investing in the early stages of commercialisation, we open the research pipeline from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside,” the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said.

“Researchers, clinicians, industry, governments and, especially, patients will benefit from research ideas succeeding commercially.

“Bringing new biomedical discoveries to market is complex and expensive,” Minister Ley said.

“Because of this, many potentially valuable projects fail to attract the resources needed to progress them. These ‘invisible ideas’ are not developed and we never see the health or economic benefits. We need to change this – and that is why we are investing $250 million via the Biomedical Translation Fund.

“We are currently losing the benefits of Australian research and our talented researchers overseas. When Australian researchers are unable to find funding here, they take their innovations overseas. An investment by the Australian Government will fuel Australian biomedical innovation, generate revenue for Australia, and create high-value Australian jobs.

“Funding, resources and expertise are needed to ensure these research findings can be translated into real benefits for people in the form of better devices, drugs and treatments. This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians.”

Minister Ley said Australia was renowned for ground-breaking discoveries in health and medical research, but too often opportunities to commercialise them were lost to overseas investors.

“The opportunities are huge – the value of Australian publicly listed life-sciences companies in 2012 was $31.4 billion. And there are more than 2,000 companies based in Australia, making us the largest health and biomedical hub in the Asia Pacific.

“Australia has had some great commercialisation success stories such as CSL Limited, Resmed and Cochlear, but we have great potential to achieve so much more.”

More information on the NISA is available on the Innovation website.

Media Contact: Minister's Office 02 6277 7220

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