Medical research has the power to save and improve lives through driving better health care and improved health outcomes from new medicines, devices and treatments. Australia is a world leader in health and medical research and will maintain this position through continued investment in research.

This initiative aligns to department outcomes 1 & 2 in the Health Portfolio Budget Statements

Our aim

  • Cement Australia’s place as a world leader in health and medical research.
  • Increase clinical trials, exports, new markets and global market leadership in biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
  • Transform the lives of Australians through a dedicated mission to harness the power of genomics and realise the potential of precision medicine
  • Support early stage health and medical research discoveries to reach proof-of-concept and progress to clinical trials. 
  • Strengthen Australia’s position as a global destination for clinical trials.
  • Improve health services and systems evidence-based research.

Our challenges

  • Australia’s small patient population can constrain clinical research activity, making international collaboration essential. 
  • Many medical research discoveries and ideas fail to progress due to limited resources at critical phases of development.
  • To be truly transformative, researchers need support to push through to proof-of-concept and trial phases where their work can attract private investment. 
  • Government has a role in investing in research that maximises research translation and commercialisation.

Our work to achieve this initiative

  • The Government's investment in a National Health and Medical Research Industry Growth Plan will deliver better health care and outcomes, new jobs and industry growth.
  • Supporting research into new biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceutical innovations.
  • Funding research into rare cancers, rare and chronic diseases, genomics, and mental health.
  • Investing in clinical trials to deliver scientific breakthroughs. 
  • SME Assist initiative to assist researchers and small businesses to navigate the medicines and medical devices regulatory system.

Our role and that of our partners

Medical research future fund investment areas

$500 million

Australian Genomics Health Future mission

from 2017-18 to 2026-27

$20 million

Support the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board

from 2019-20 to 2021-22

$240 million

Frontier Health and Medical Research

from 2017-18 to 2021-22

$125 million

Million Minds Mental Health Research mission

from 2017-18 to 2026-27

$125 million

Chronic conditions – diabetes and heart disease

from 2019-20 to 2027-28 through the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator

$248 million

Rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet needs clinical trial activity

from 2017-18 to 2021-22

$94.3 million

Biomedical and medical technology

from 2017-18 to 2021-22

$150.4 million

Translation of research into better patient care

from 2017-18 to 2020-21

Management of identified risks

Key risks

The implementation of the National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan and other Medical Research Future Fund initiatives is delayed.

States and territories are delayed in implementing important clinical trial system redesign strategies.

The development of supporting infrastructure for a National Clinical Trial Front Door is delayed.

Management strategies

Rigorous project management applied, governance arrangements established.

Proactive engagement with internal and external stakeholders to ensure collaboration and manage expectations.

Provide early indicative cost and benefit realisation information.

Measuring our performance against key measures

Performance measures

A sustainable source of funding is provided for transformative health and medical research that improves lives, contributes to health system sustainability and drives innovation.
Target 2018–19

The second set of Medical Research Future Fund priorities to be released by end 2018 following public consultation.

Further disbursements to be made consistent with the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015.

Target 2019–22

Further disbursements to be made consistent with the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015.

Last updated: 
20 November 2018