The Morrison Government is opening two medical research grant rounds, worth $90 million to help accelerate Australian-led genomics and cardiovascular research, which will improve and save lives.
The grants are available through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and focus on two of the Fund’s key initiatives – the Genomics Health Futures Mission ($56 million) and the Cardiovascular Health Mission ($34 million).
The Genomics Health Futures Mission aims to fund research to integrate genomics knowledge and technology into clinical practice, and the Cardiovascular Health Mission aims to reduce the toll of Australia’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said Australia was taking a lead role in improving and saving lives—through better detection, prediction and treatment, and better long-term recovery from acute events.
“The goal of the Genomics Health Futures Mission is to save or transform the lives of more than 200,000 Australians through genomic research by delivering better testing, diagnosis and treatment,” Minister Hunt said.
“Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of premature death, disability and avoidable hospital admissions, costing more than $10.4 billion each year in direct health care costs. The Cardiovascular Health Mission will help mobilise research, encouraging collaboration and enabling translation of research findings into clinical practice.
“Both of these research grants will accelerate Australian-led research and help improve the lives of all Australians.”
The Cardiovascular Health Mission has $34 million available over three years from 2021–22 through five priority areas identified in the implementation plan:
- Stream 1 – up to $8 million: to improve understanding of cardiovascular disease risk, including biological mechanisms
- Stream 2 – up to $6 million: to help patients to adopt and maintain health interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Stream 3 – up to $8 million: to give patients more equitable access to best care, including new technologies, devices, and biomarkers; and new ways to target interventions to particular groups
- Stream 4 – up to $6 million: personalised, lifelong care approaches for patients who have had a stroke or heart event, to prevent further attacks
- Stream 5 – up to $6 million: understanding the biology of recovery, leading to new treatments and better monitoring of patients’ health.
The Genomics Health Futures Mission has up to $56 million available over two years from 2021–22 through six streams to support Australian medical research and medical innovation projects:
- Stream 1 – up to $20 million: develop disease-agnostic, high throughput and scalable functional genomics platforms to increase the diagnostic rate of unresolved cases and accelerate the development of experimental therapeutics
- Stream 2 – up to $12 million: develop new models of genomic newborn screening
- Stream 3 – up to $5 million: through a competitively selected national consortium, conduct research addressing emerging ethical, legal and social issues associated with the governance of clinical and genomic datasets
- Stream 4 – up to $5 million: through a competitively selected national consortium, conduct research to develop effective approaches for responsible, culturally appropriate and nationally consistent involvement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in genomics research and clinical practice
- Stream 5 – up to $10 million: through a competitively selected national consortium, conduct research to enrich genomics databases to support the inclusion of culturally and linguistically diverse groups in genomics research, and equitable benefit from genomics in health
- Stream 6 – up to $4 million: conduct small-scale development projects to establish feasible, evidence-based approaches for population cohort research, focusing on culturally and linguistically diverse groups.
The Morrison Government’s $20 billion MRFF, is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system.