AAMRI Update: Federal Budget 2017-18

AAMRI Update: Federal Budget 2017-18

9th May, 2017

The exciting news from the Federal Budget is that the first medical research funding announcements from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) are set to be made. While funding for the NHMRC remains largely similar to that forecast last year, there were a few new additional funding announcements for the sector.

MRFF funding announcements
The first funding announcements from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) were provided at the Budget. The Government will provide $65.9 million over four years from 2016-17 from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to invest in medical research in Australia. Investments from the MRFF will be consistent with the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-18, which have been identified by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board. Funding will include:

  • $20 million for preventive health and research translation projects including support for Advanced Health and Research Translation Centres and new Centres for Innovation in Regional Health
  • $33 million for clinical trials that will build on Australia’s world class research strengths
  • $12.9 million for breakthrough research that drives cutting edge science and accelerates research on new treatments and cures

MRFF growing the fund to $20 billion
The Government has maintained its commitment to build the MRFF to $20 billion by 2020-21. There will be some reductions in payments going into the fund between 2016-17 and 2019-20, with these payments then made up in 2020-21. The result is that the fund will reach $17.2 billion by 2019-20 rather than $19.0 billion, but the full capitalisation of the fund is still set for 2020-21. Despite these changes there are no reductions forecast in the amount of funding being made available for medical research.
Fund capitalisation forecast:
2016-17 – $4.6B
2017-18 – $6.9B
2018-19 – $9.2B
2019-20 – $17.2B
2020-21 – $20.1B

National Health and Medical Research Council
There were no significant changes to medical research funding through the NHMRC Medical Research Endowment Account. Slight inflationary increase are provided for the coming years, although these have been revised downwards on the forecasts provided last year.
2016-17 – $807M
2017-18 – $818M
2018-19 – $829M
2019-20 – $844M
2020-21 – $855M

Research infrastructure
No new funding was announced for the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, but funding has been available to develop and infrastructure funding plan.Proton Beam Facility
$68 million will be provided for a Proton Beam Facility at AAMRI member, SAHMRI. The facility will support treatment and research.Mental health research
AAMRI members Orygen and the Black Dog Institute will receive funding for mental health research.Fighting childhood cancer
$1.4 million will be provided over four years to fast-track two new international collaborations of clinical trials of paediatric brain cancer. $4.4 million will be provided to Cancer Australia for childhood cancer research.R&D tax incentive
Despite reviews and rumours no change was announced at the Budget

Other health and medical research funding announcements
Read AAMRI’s full analysis of the Federal Budget and how it relates to health and medical research below.