AAMRI pleased election commitments met as MRFF receives $7.8 billion

AAMRI pleased election commitments met as MRFF receives $7.8 billion

28th June, 2019

The $7.8 billion commitment to the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), announced yesterday, is the largest single investment made to Australian medical research. During the federal election medical research institutes were keen to see the coalition confirm their promise to fully fund the MRFF, and the injection of funds today is great news for the sector.

The MRFF, set up in 2015, is a sovereign wealth fund set to reach $20 billion by 2020-21. With this latest investment the fund is currently estimated at $17.5 billion and on track to reach its full amount on time, as promised by the Australian Government. The MRFF’s investment returns are used to fund world-class medical research into a range of priority areas.

In an election statement released earlier this year the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) asked for the full capitalisation of the MRFF to be a priority for parties and candidates. Importantly, the honouring of these commitments allows medical researchers to plan, knowing funding is available for their critical research.

“We congratulate the Government in prioritising medical research and honouring their election promise to the MRFF,” said AAMRI President Elect Professor Jonathan Carapetis.

Professor Carapetis said the MRFF is unique as it has been set up to fund research as well as the application of research findings that will lead to direct health and economic outcomes. “This means getting treatments to patients faster and more effectively, and making sure new approaches to prevention are put into practice. It’s only through innovative and well-funded program like the MRFF that Australia is able to turn our research into better health outcomes for all Australians.”

The MRFF has, to date, announced eight large scale missions addressing some of the major health concerns for Australia. They include the Indigenous Health Research Fund ($160m), Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission ($125m), Genomics Health Futures Mission ($500m) along with brain cancer, dementia and aged care, cardiovascular health, traumatic brain injury, and stem cell therapies.

In line with the MRFF Funding Principles, it is expected the majority of the MRFF funding will be open and contestable. The MRFF is already funding new ground-breaking research which has the potential to deliver significant health benefits for the nation well into the future.