From Lab to Market – Victoria’s Medical Research Institutes Welcome State Budget

From Lab to Market – Victoria’s Medical Research Institutes Welcome State Budget

28th May, 2019

The Victorian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to Victoria’s medical research sector, with a $116.5 million funding injection as part of 2019-20 State Budget.

The Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (VicAAMRI) welcomes the Government’s investment into six of its fourteen member institutes – the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

VicAAMRI Chair, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said “It’s terrific news for the sector – every day, researchers across our institutes are developing new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies, and by continual strong support from the State Government we’re able to get these treatments to patients who need them”.

As part of this budget, the Victorian Government will support the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery at St Vincent’s Hospital – Australia’s first research and education centre for biomedical engineering. The Centre is a collaborative hub, including VicAAMRI members St Vincent’s Institute, Bionics Institute and the Centre for Eye Research Australia. It will bring together doctors, scientists and researchers to focus on chronic conditions to yield significant patient, healthcare and economic impact.

Further support will be provided to the Australian Drug Discovery Centre at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. This national capability will enable biomedical discoveries from Australia’s world-class medical research institutes, to be developed into life-saving treatments for patients faster.

At the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, patients will have access to a broader suite of treatment options, with the establishment of the Gamma Knife Service, a machine that performs precision radiosurgery. This technology is of particular benefit to people with brain tumours that are too small for conventional radiation therapy.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Generation Victoria initiative, an innovative study to improve the health, development and well-being of all Victorian children, will also be expanded. This investment will enable the participation of the Gen V 2020 cohort, that will track the health milestones of 100,000 Victorian babies.

Victoria’s medical research institutes directly employ over 5,300 staff and students, bring more than $600 million in annual revenue to the state and create over $1 billion in annual economic impact.

Professor Crabb said the support of the Victorian Government is essential to sustain the important work of the state’s medical research institutes.

“Victoria’s medical research sector is a world leader. Only with the ongoing support of the Victorian Government can our medical research institutes continue to deliver ground-breaking discoveries, and better health outcomes. This investment will help to maintain our competitiveness, and we look forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure our sector continues growing and supporting Australians in the future.”