Australia’s research investment set to be strengthened under proposed Labor plan

Australia’s research investment set to be strengthened under proposed Labor plan

29th November, 2018

Medical research institutes welcome Labor’s commitment to increase Australia’s research investment, and their plan to place science and research at the top of the political agenda.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced last night that a Labor Government would seek to raise Australia’s R&D investment for research to 3% by 2030, currently at 1.9%. Internationally this would place Australia in the top investors by GDP.

The President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) Professor Vlado Perkovic was pleased to hear that Labor would be making science and research a national priority, and hoped that this would lead to strong investment in medical research.

“We know that investing in medical research is one of the best investments any government can make with each dollar invested returning nearly $4 to the economy,” said Professor Perkovic.

“This is a sector that currently employs more than 110,000 people, we rely on it to develop new treatments and therapies that keep our communities healthy, and includes a growing medical and pharmaceutical technology export industry – we can’t afford not to invest in it.”

Professor Perkovic said one of the best ways to achieve the targets set out by Labor would be through strong investment in medical research through the NHMRC and the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). It will be vital to capitalise the MRFF to its planned $20 billion by 2020.

Professor Perkovic also applauded Labor’s commitment to legislating to improve transparency around Ministerial intervention in the ARC grant program, and the Prime Ministers Science and Innovation Council, responsible for identifying our national priorities in science and research.

“It’s encouraging to hear ahead of the next election this strong interest in supporting the science and research sector, and I look forward to seeing policy announcements from the other parties.”