AAMRI eNews Final edition 2016

AAMRI eNews Final edition 2016

15th December, 2016


Final edition 2016

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news – AAMRI wrap of the year
  2. Government update – Biomed Translation Fund, Innovation Roadmap, and more
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates – Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and more
  4. Sector news – Still Birth CRC established, and more
  5. Reports & resources
  6. Funding & other opportunities

1. AAMRI news

AAMRI update
Welcome to the final edition of eNews for 2016. We’ve been in touch a bit over the past week so want to keep this AAMRI update brief.
Hopefully you saw our updates on the launch of our Member Report and its associated infographics and videos, and on the NHMRC Project Grants. You should also have received the summary of our 2016 Convention and Annual Dinner, with accompanying videos.
Everyone at AAMRI wishes you the very best for a safe and happy Christmas and new year.

Tony, MRFF in Croakey
AAMRI President Tony Cunningham was quoted in a lengthy piece about the Medical Research Future Fund in Croakey. And in case you missed it, there was a great profile of Tony in The Australian last month.

2.  Government update 

NISA: one year on…
The first anniversary of the National Innovation and Science Agenda was marked by the Federal Government with the launch of the 2016 Australian Innovation System Report. The report highlights the significant benefits of innovation in Australia for business – including increased productivity, profitability, investment and job creation, and identifies that the strongest performance results are achieved by businesses that innovate repeatedly.
Startup Smart also had a good summary of NISA one year on.

Biomedical Translation Fund’s capital managers announced
Three experienced venture capital fund managers have been selected to support Australia’s world class biomedical talent to create new drugs, devices, and therapies and improve patient lives. The selected fund managers – Brandon Capital Partners, OneVentures Management and BioScience Managers – will manage $250 million in government capital to be matched by more than $250 million from the private sector.

Draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap released
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has released the draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap setting out priorities for planning and future investment. The draft 2016 Roadmap highlights nine research infrastructure focus areas that will enable Australia to pursue transformational research while delivering returns for the community and industry partners. The closing date for comments is 16 January.

Pilot to test impact, business engagement of researchers
The Federal Government will pilot ways to measure the impact of research by universities and their engagement with business and industry in 2017 after opening applications for institutions to take part ahead of a national roll-out of the assessment system in 2018. Participating universities are expected to make their pilot submissions to the ARC in May 2017. A review of the pilot will be reported in late 2017.

National Health Genomics Policy Framework
The Commonwealth Department of Health is seeking feedback on the draft National Health Genomics Policy Framework. The framework is a commitment between the Commonwealth and states and territories to work collaboratively to integrate genomics into the health system over time. You can provide feedback via written submission, by completing a survey, or participating in a consultation forum in February next year (express your interest by 31 December).

Select Committee into funding for research into cancers with low survival rates
On 29 November the Senate established a select committee to be known as the Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates to inquire and report on the impact of health research funding models on the availability of funding for research into cancers with low survival rates. Tasmanian Labor senator Catryna Bilyk, a brain tumour survivor, will lead the committee. The closing date for submissions is 31 March, with the committee to report by 28 November 2017.

Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016
Introduced on 24 November, this Bill enables unlisted public companies with less than $25 million in assets and annual turnover to facilitate crowd sourced equity funding. These companies will be able to raise up to $5 million in any 12-month period through crowdfunding platforms.

CSIRO Innovation Fund
The Federal Government has launched the $200 million CSIRO Innovation Fund, which will commercialise early stage innovations from CSIRO, universities and other publicly-funded research bodies (including MRIs).

Innovation and Science Australia and CRC Advisory Committee appointments
Dr Charles Day has been appointed CEO of Innovation and Science Australia, following an extensive international search.

Research precincts for all universities?
According to The Australian, all universities would share real estate and expertise with industry in a splurge of symbiotic research and development charted by federal Science Minister Greg Hunt. Mr Hunt said every university had the capacity to develop its own precinct, modeled on the Macquarie Park Innovation District in Sydney or Parkville in Melbourne. He said he wanted agreements in place with each university within the next 18 months.

2016 Ministerial Dementia Forum
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt, met with people living with dementia and their carers along with health, aged care and community service providers to discuss the redesign of dementia consumer support programs across the country last week.

$2.8 Million for Cure4MND Research
Funding to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease has received a boost with Health Minister Sussan Ley presenting Neale Daniher and the Cure4MND Foundation a cheque for $2.8 million.

Vic: Panel of experts established to drive excellence in Victorian medical research
A new panel of experts has been established to drive leadership and excellence in Victorian health and medical research, attracting more investment and jobs to Victoria. Fourteen members will sit on the new Science, Medical Research and Technology Panel, led by Brigitte Smith, Co-founder and Managing Director of GSB Venture Partners as the inaugural Chair, with Professor Kathryn North, Director of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute as the Deputy Chair. Former AAMRI President Professor Brendan Crabb is also on the panel.

The Victorian Government also announced it will provide $10 million to help Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre cancer researchers uncover new breakthroughs.

Consultation/Submission calls

TGA public consultations
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released medical device reforms information for public consultation. You are invited to comment on these proposals by 11 January.
•   Designation of Australian Conformity Assessment Bodies for Medical Devices – Implementation
•   Accelerated Assessment of Medical Devices – Priority Review Pathway – Implementation

Consultation: Accelerated assessment of medical devices
The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on the consultation paper for accelerated assessment of medical devices – Priority Review pathway – Implementations. Responses are due by 11 January.

Pre-Budget submissions
The Minister for Small Business has called for pre-Budget submissions from individuals,
businesses and community groups on their views regarding priorities for the 2017-18 Budget. Submissions are due by 19 January 2017.

Digital health survey
How should Australia take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies offer to improve health and care? What do Australians want and expect from a modern healthcare system? The Australian Digital Health Agency wants to hear from you.


Invitation to provide feedback on the review of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
The NHMRC, ARC and Universities Australia are reviewing the Code on advice from expert working committees. As a result, it is proposed that the Code be streamlined into a principles-based document that will be supported by guides that provide advice and requirements for implementation of the Code. You (or your organisation) are invited to submit feedback on the:

  • draft principles-based Code
  • draft Guide on investigating and managing potential breaches of the Code
  • development of future guides to support implementation of the Code.

The closing date for submissions is 28 February.

Public Consultation on National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
The NHMRC is proposing a revision of Section 3 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (the National Statement). Comments are invited on the content of Section 3 of the National Statement, which includes new introductory language, new and revised chapters 3.1 and 3.5, consequential changes to Section 5 and additions to the Glossary. Submissions close on 21 December.

Revised Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research
The NHMRC and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia have released a revised joint statement reflecting the growing recognition of the place of consumers and community in health research. The Statement on Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research revises the initial joint statement released by the two organisations in 2002.

Structural Review of NHMRC’s Grant Program: Public Consultation Submissions
An update about the review progress is available on the NHMRC website and submissions can be viewed in full on the NHMRC Consultation Portal.

Public call for evidence on the health effects of alcohol consumption
The NHMRC has commenced an evaluation of the evidence on the health effects of alcohol consumption. The scope of the evidence evaluation covers the short and long term health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption, including various levels and patterns of drinking, in order to allow individuals to make informed decisions regarding their drinking habits. The call closes on 13 January.

4.  Sector news

New stillbirth research centre launched
The Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence, to be housed at AAMRI member Mater Research Institute, aims to drive down the rate of stillbirth in Australia, which has not changed in 20 years.

Wiley becomes first major publisher to require ORCID IDs for submitting authors
John Wiley & Sons Inc. has announced plans to require ORCID iDs as part of the manuscript submission process for a large number of journals. Beginning in winter 2016, more than 500 Wiley journals using ScholarOne Manuscripts will require the submitting author (only) to provide an ORCID identifier when submitting a manuscript.

Asthma Australia survey on thunderstorm asthma
Following the thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne, Asthma Australia is looking at ways to support and help people with asthma. Completing this short survey will provide them with information about those affected and what can be done to help.

TMA holding expansion survey
The Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank wants feedback on its Tissue Microarrays (TMA) holdings. If you can assist please complete a two-minute survey on the topic.

Helping to enhance public trust and confidence in registered charities
The ACNC has developed the Tick of Charity Registration for registered charities to show the public that they are registered with the ACNC. Registered charities are not required to use the Registered Charity Tick, but those that do will need to read and accept some terms and conditions of use to make sure it’s fairly used.

MTAA appoints new CEO
The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has appointed Ian Burgess as its new CEO.

5.  Reports and resources

List of high profile female researchers for biomedical science conferences
The ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Professor Leann Tilley has established a list of high profile female researchers in the field of quantitative biomedical science with an aim to facilitate gender balance amongst invited speakers at scientific conferences.  The list provides contact details for each researcher, their research discipline and speciality, links to their home or lab page, plus recent conference and publications information.  Researchers on the list have been invited to participate and have consented to their names being made available.  The list will be updated periodically.

Busting the Myths about Women in STEM
A new paper from the Office of the Chief Scientist highlights the need for ongoing
action to encourage and support women to pursue careers STEM. Busting the Myths about Women in STEM dispels four damaging and persistent myths facing women in STEM. It is accompanied by an illustrated datasheet that shows Australia’s gender STEM imbalance persisting from the classroom through to the workplace.

Does medical research funding need a paradigm shift?
An article in The Conversation by Telethon Kids Institute’s Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016
The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This comprehensive report card measures where things have improved (or not) against 52 indicators across a range of areas including early childhood, education, health, home and safe and supportive communities, and includes case studies on things that work to improve outcomes.

Australian Innovation System Report
The annual Australian Innovation System Report explores the impact of innovation and related activities on business, industry and national performance. The report also outlines challenges and future opportunities for Australian innovation.

Getting Australia’s Health on Track
A new report has highlighted ten priority policy actions to prevent and reduce chronic disease for a healthier Australia by 2025. The report was produced by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration.

Obesity and smoking rates higher in regional Australia
Australians living in regional areas are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). A second report reveals a similar pattern in relation to daily tobacco smoking with adults in regional areas more likely to smoke daily than their city counterparts.

Preliminary results from study into veterans’ suicide
The most statistically robust data ever compiled into the prevalence of suicide among current and former members of the Australian Defence Force has been released. The AIHW study, Estimation of incidence of suicide in ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel, used data from the Defence Department’s Personnel Management Key System, which contains information on all people who serve or have served in the ADF from 1 January 2001, and the National Death Index.

Inactivity, smoking, obesity among risk factors that contribute to dementia
A new report from the AIHW shows the role vascular diseases (such as stroke) and risk factors (such as smoking and obesity) can play in contributing to dementia.

New publication: Australia’s mothers and babies 2014—in brief
The AIHW’s Australia’s mothers and babies 2014—in brief presents key statistics and trends on pregnancy and childbirth of mothers, and the characteristics and outcomes of their babies.

Unreported trials a betrayal of patients
A Medical Journal of Australia article on the lack of reporting for some clinical trials.

Change of Heart — time to end cardiovascular complacency
A new report by AAMRI member Baker IDI reveals 50 years of heart health success in Australia is in jeopardy.

Population Health Research Network Strategic Plan
Following an independent review of the PHRN in 2014, which highlighted the importance of a strategic vision for data linkage in Australia, the PHRN undertook a strategic planning process in 2015-16. The resultant 2017-2026 Strategic Plan has been endorsed by the board.

A different approach to science communication
Dr Jee Hyun Kim, from AAMRI member The Florey, has taken a cartoonish approach, literally, to explaining the science behind memory.

The hidden costs of a career in scientific research
A Nature blog posing the questions: does a career in science select against those unable to afford frequent relocation, unpaid work and short-term contracts?

Science communication research
A Conversation article: what does research say about how to effectively communicate about science?

6.  Funding & other opportunities

$34 million for Dementia and Aged Care Services research
Applications are now open for $34 million for innovative projects that will support older Australians to access the care they need, where and when they need it. Applications close 20 December.

Regional Collaborations Programme
Applications are now open for eligible Australian research organisations and businesses who wish to apply for funding through Round One of the Regional Collaborations Programme. The programme will fund Australian participants from eligible organisations to collaborate with regional and international science, research and innovation partners on solutions to shared regional challenges within the Asia–Pacific regions. The deadline for applications is 16 January.

2016 David Syme Research Prize
Nominations are invited for the 2016 David Syme Research Prize. The Australia-wide prize recognises the best original research in Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geology produced in Australia during the past two years (1 January 2015 – 31 December 2016). Nominations close 27 April.

Search for science help from migrants underway
The Royal Society of Victoria has joined with two other organisations to offer training for overseas-qualified scientists to become science communicators. The idea is to have professionals deliver presentations to non-expert audiences, and to counteract the issue of overseas-trained science professionals struggling to find work in their fields.

Open call for art about blood
BLOOD is the first cross-network season for Science Gallery, inspired by the original exhibition BLOOD: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED at Science Gallery Dublin in 2015. BLOOD will run across both Science Gallery sites in London and at Melbourne University between June and October 2017. An open call is on for proposals addressing or exploring various themes and topics related to blood, including health.

Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-Ps) grants
The next round of CRC-P grants is expected to open in January 2017. CRC-P grants support short term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services.