AAMRI eNews – March 2018

AAMRI eNews – March 2018

12th March, 2018


2nd edition – March 2018

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – 2018 AAMRI Convention (26&27 November) – save the date
  2. Government update – MRFF priorities, superstars of STEM & SA election pledges
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates – Summary of the peer review consultation submissions
  4. MRFF Update – New mental health mission, funding for endometriosis research
  5. Sector news – Change in MTPConnect leadership, new strategic advisor for Bionics Institute
  6. Reports & resources – Latest reports and resources
  7. Funding & award opportunities – Latest funding opportunities and awards
  8. Events, conferences & training opportunities – BioKorea, AIHW data events, Ausbiotech and more

Do you have something that you would like featured in a future newsletter? Send it through to communications@aamri.org.au

1. AAMRI news

2018 AAMRI Convention – save the date!

The 2018 AAMRI Convention will take place on 26-27 November 2018 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, with the AAMRI Dinner held at Parliament House on the evening of the 26th. Please save the date in the diary and come and help us celebrate AAMRI’s 25th birthday.

New Research Management Strategy Network

AAMRI is establishing a new Research Management Strategy Network for AAMRI members. The network will provide a forum for discussion and the sharing of ideas relating to research management, policy, governance and strategy. The network will be launched at an annual workshop in late May. If you are interested in joining the network please email communications@aamri.org.au.

2.  Government and policy update 


Medical Research Future Fund – New two-year priorities

It is expected that the two-yearly review of the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities will be undertaken in the coming months. The priorities are used to guide the Medical Research Future Fund funding decisions. AAMRI will be putting forward a submission to the consultation. Please get in touch if you are interested in participating.

GM respiratory syncytial virus vaccine

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has invited comment on an application from Clinical Network Services for trials of genetically modified respiratory syncytial virus vaccine. OGTR is preparing a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan for the application. This is expected to be released for public comment and advice from experts, agencies and authorities in April 2018. There will be at least 30 days for submission of comments.

Polycystic ovary syndrome guidelines

The Centre for Research Excellence in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has released the updated evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Comments are due by Monday 12 March 2018.

WA: Draft code targeting FIFO mental health

Feedback is sought on a draft code of practice for mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers in the resources and construction sectors in Western Australia. Submissions are due by 19 April 2018.

Future of the aged care workforce

A national public consultation program has opened on the development of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy, including the importance of translating research and technology into models of care and practice. Submissions close 16 March 2018.

Policy update

‘Superstars of STEM’ program gets 4 year extension

Speaking at the ‘Science meets Parliament’ gala dinner on 13 February, Minister for Jobs and Innovation, the Hon Michaelia Cash MP announced a four year extension of the ‘Superstars of STEM’ program for women in science and technology. Support and training will be provided to promote their fields of research, and the program will look to double the number of women participating from 30 to 60.

SA: Labor party pledges $3 million for cancer research over three years

South Australian Minister for Health, Peter Malinauskas, says a re-elected Labor Government will fully fund the Beat Cancer Project with an additional $3 million in funding to secure flagship cancer research in South Australia for the next three years. The Beat Cancer Project is a collaboration between Cancer Council SA, the State Government, SAHMRI and the South Australian universities.

SA: Labor pledges $5.5 million for suicide prevention

South Australian Minster for Health, Peter Malinauskas, says a re-elected Labor Government will provide $5.5 million towards targeted suicide prevention. The funding includes $1.6 million for research, including the establishment of a suicide registry, to provide statistical information on suicide and intentional self-harm for public health purposes.

3. NHMRC & ARC updates

NHMRC issues summary of its consultation on peer review for new grant program

A summary of the consultation responses received as part of the NHMRC’s consultation on peer review in the new grant program has been published on the NHMRC website.

4.  MRFF update

Third MRFF national mission will focus on mental health

Mental health will be the third national mission to be funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The Million Minds Mental Health Mission will address mental health challenges including specific issues relating to youth, Indigenous and elderly mental health. The amount of MRFF funds committed to the mission is yet to be announced.

This follows the $100M brain cancer mission announced last year, and the foreshadowed genomics and precision medicine mission.

National action plan for childhood congenital heart disease

The development of the first National Action Plan for Childhood Congenital Heart Disease has been announced and it is expected that once the plan is developed mission funding will be made available from the Medical Research Future Fund.

$2.5 million in funding announced for endometriosis medical research

The Australian Government will provide $2.5 million from the MRFF as part of the first-ever national approach to combat endometriosis. Grant applications will be sought in the coming months from researchers which improve the treatment and diagnosis of endometriosis.

$2.5 million in grants announced as part of Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance

Under its Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance program, the MRFF is providing $1.4 million to the SAHMRI and $1.1 million to the University of South Australia.

5.  Sector news

Leadership changes at MTPConnect

Dr Bronwyn Evans is stepping down as MTPConnect chair, and will be replaced by the CEO, Sue MacLeman. A recruitment process is underway to find a new CEO.

Bionics Institute announces Dr Erol Harvey as Strategic Advisor

The Bionics Institute has announced that it has appointed Dr Erol Harvey as Strategic Advisor. Dr Harvey will assist the institute in their goal of translating ground breaking early technology advancements into clinically validated products, to transform lives of patients with debilitating diseases.

First step towards blood test for Alzheimer’s

An international team of scientists has just completed the first step in developing a blood test that can predict whether a person has an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, working up to 20 years before symptoms develop. They found biomarkers in the blood that can predict amyloid deposits – the earliest pathological signature of Alzheimer’s – in a person’s brain, with two Australian scientists helping to validate the test.

6.  Reports and resources

Cancer incidence and mortality in Australia by small geographic areas

These tables present the latest cancer incidence and mortality data in Australia by Primary Health Network (PHN) and Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) for all cancers combined, and six selected cancers (female breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, melanoma of the skin, and prostate cancer).

WA: Interim report shows positive moves towards a sustainable health system in WA

Western Australia Minister for Health, Roger Cook, has released the Sustainable Health Review Interim Report. The State Government will use the review to inform future decisions about the way health is managed to ensure Western Australians are receiving quality healthcare that can be sustained for our future generations.

7.  Funding & award opportunities

Nominations now open for 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science Awards are calling for nominations from leading Australian scientists, exceptional innovators from both industry and research, early to mid-career scientists and promising early to mid-career innovators, plus more. Prize money of between $50,000 and $250,000 is available. Nominations are open until 26 March 2018.

Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation open applications for 2018 research grants

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation have opened applications for the 2018 Research Grant Round, closing midnight Sunday 1 April 2018. Funding will be provided for projects between 1 and 3 years, with a focus on supporting research salaries in the areas of early detection, and management and treatment for ovarian cancer research.

$2.5 million in funding for mitochondrial disease research research and medical initiatives

The Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF) has approved an allocation of $2.5 million in additional funding towards research and medical initiatives as part of its revised Research and Medical Funding Strategy. Funding is available for: clinical trial support grants, research fellowship, translational research grants, incubator grants and PhD top-up scholarships.

Australian Government CRC Project (CRC-P) grants

The fifth round of Australian Government CRC Project (CRC-P) grants are open, targeting short-term industry-led collaborative research projects that will develop products, services or processes to deliver tangible outcomes and commercial benefits to participants and their industry sectors. Matched funding of up to $3 million is being provided. Applications must be submitted by 5pm AEDT Tuesday 27 March 2018.

Cancer Flagship projects grants

Australian Genomics is now inviting expressions of interest for one or two new Cancer Flagship projects, to commence in 2018 and run for two years. Expressions of interest will close Thursday 1 April 2018.

Nominations open for the 2019 Australian Academy of Science Awards

Each year the Australian Academy of Science shines a light on researchers who have made outstanding contributions to science through their honorific awards. The closing date for honorific award nominations is 1 May 2018 and the closing date to apply for research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships is 1 June 2018.

Abstract submissions and bursary applications open for Australian Dementia Forum 2018

The National Institute for Dementia Research has opened applications and submissions for the following opportunities at ADF2018: abstract submissions, bursary applications for international early career fellows to attend ADF2018 and network with the group in Australia; and applications from people with dementia, or carers, to present work on their involvement in dementia research. The call for applications and submissions closes 5:00pm (AEDT) on Friday 23 March 2018.

8.  Events, conferences & training opportunities

2018 AAMRI Convention

Don’t forget to save 26-27 November in your diary for the 2018 AAMRI Convention in Canberra.

‘Research in Germany’ networking events

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are inviting people to take part in their “Research in Germany” networking events in Melbourne (10 & 11 April) and Sydney (12 & 13 April). These events target Australian researchers, university administrators and Australian companies of the healthcare sector interested in strengthening ties with German institutions.

BioKorea May 2018 – Seoul

Austrade Korea, in collaboration with AusBiotech, will run the Australian pavilion at BioKorea 2018 – 9 to 11 May, in Seoul.  Bio Korea 2018 will have a focus on digital health with industry seminars in digital health and regenerative medicine, as well as an investor round table to promote Australian industry capabilities. For more information and to express interest contact Juliet.Woo@austrade.gov.au

AIHW conference – Breaking the data silos

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) together with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) are co-hosting a conference on 27-28 March 2018 in Canberra. The theme of the conference will be “Breaking the data silos: Sharing data for better service and policy delivery”.

Collaborate Innovate 2018

The Cooperative Research Centres Association (CRCA) are holding their annual conference, ‘Collaborate Innovate 2018’, in Sydney from the 14 to 16 May. The conference attracts researchers, educators and industry people to network with CRCA members while gaining valuable insights regarding the nature of cooperative research ventures.

Webinar: Trusted data repositories and the CoreTrustSeal

Learn about the CoreTrustSeal and what’s involved in certification and recognition as a Trustworthy Data Repository. The National Imaging Facility, Australian Data Archive and CSIRO will share outcomes and learnings from their experiences. The webinar is being held Tuesday 13 March 12:00 – 13:00 AEDT.

AusBiotech 2018 conference

The annual AusBiotech conference brings together Australian and international biotech leaders and stakeholders, creating a forum to reflect on the sector’s achievements and exchange ideas to further advance the sector’s standing both nationally and globally. The conference will be held in Brisbane on 31 October – 2 November 2018.

AusMedtech conference

AusMedtech is an annual conference held by AusBiotech bringing together key stakeholders of the Australian and international medical devices and diagnostics sector to help prepare industry for its changing landscape. AusMedtech 2018 will be held in Adelaide from 1 – 2 May 2018 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia.