Australia is a world leader in medical research. However, we still have challenges in moving new ideas through the research pipeline to become new products that improve health. This process is called research translation.
What is the research pipeline?
The research pipeline is the process that moves research from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.
There are several research categories that ideas must move through before they end up in clinical practice.
Research translation is the process of moving research ideas from labs to clinics. It ensures that new medical discoveries become part of the clinical practice of GPs, other specialists and hospitals.
We need research translation to move ideas in 2 stages:
- from the laboratory to use in human clinical trials
- from the research setting to a commercial product or an improved way of doing things
How the MRFF helps research translation
The MRFF directs funding to projects that specifically address research translation. Supporting and funding research translation:
- improves patient outcomes
- creates new approaches to disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management
- increases collaboration across the health care workforce and systems
- creates jobs and industry growth
MRFF research translation initiatives
The MRFF 2nd 10-year Investment Plan funds a number of research translation initiatives.
- Medical Research Commercialisation
- National Critical Research Infrastructure
- Preventive and Public Health Research
- Primary Health Care Research
- Rapid Applied Research Translation
- Research Data Infrastructure
See all MRFF initiatives.
See more information about the MRFF funding process.
Dr Glen Begley (CEO of BioCurate) talks about how the MRFF helps translate groundbreaking Australian research into successful commercial products.
[Image appears of Dr Greg Begley sitting in an office talking to the camera and the camera zooms in on Glen’s face and then out again to show Dr Begley sitting in the office talking]
Dr Glen Begley: The big challenge we have in Australia is taking advantage of the outstanding research that we’ve got and turning that into something that is of benefit to humankind.
[Images move through of Dr Begley’s fingers typing on a keyboard and the camera zooms out to show Dr Begley sitting at an office desk typing at his computer]
[Image changes to show Dr. Begley sitting at an office desk talking to the camera and text appears: Dr Glen Begley, Chief Executive Officer, BioCurate]
I’m Glen Begley and I’m the Chief Executive Officer of BioCurate.
[Images move through to show Dr. Begley walking past a University sign with a male, Dr Begley talking to the camera, Dr Begley and the male walking to a building, and Dr Begley talking]
BioCurate is a joint initiative of Monash University, the University of Melbourne and supported by the Victorian Government, specifically focussed on translating research discoveries into something that will have value in the clinic.
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The challenge for researchers is that what industry is looking for is a different world.
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It takes particular expertise, people that have done it many times before to understand what the pitfalls might be.
[Camera zooms in on the male’s hands on the table, and then Dr Begley’s face as he listens]
In Australia we’ve really lacked the commitment, the capacity, the capability to translate that research.
[Image changes to show Dr Begley talking to the camera and then the image changes to show researchers working in a busy laboratory]
We have had some outstanding examples but across the board we’ve failed to take advantage of that outstanding research.
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[Image changes to show Dr Begley talking to the camera and then the images move through to show Dr Begley giving a presentation to staff in a boardroom]
The Medical Research Future Fund for the first time gives us the ability to begin to address that deficit. It takes substantial funding to bridge that gap from research to clinical application.
[Images move through to show a female writing, Dr Begley giving a presentation to staff in a boardroom, Dr Begley talking, scientists working in a laboratory, and then Dr Begley talking]
The Medical Research Future Fund is very important in building Australian capability into the future so that in the future we’ve got researchers that have a deeper understanding of what commercialisation looks like.
[Images move through to show a sign depicting the difference between Academia and Industry, Dr Begley talking to the camera, and then Dr Begley talking to a male while sitting at a table]
What excites me is we’ve got Victoria partnering with South Australia, partnering with Queensland in an attempt to provide the resource base that will be available then to New South Wales and all of the other states and territories.
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The Medical Research Future Fund is a jewel. It’s a treasure.
[Images move through to show Dr Begley talking to the camera, a BioCurate banner, and then Dr Begley standing smiling at the camera]
Ultimately, it will be $20 billion that will feed future Australian research with the intent of building on that research, translating it into something that has clinical value to Australia.
[Music plays and a hexagon pattern appears over the screen and then the image changes to show the Coat of Arms and text appears on a blue screen: Australian Government, Department of Health, Medical Research Future Fund]