AAMRI Update post-Convention 2016

AAMRI Update post-Convention 2016

23rd November, 2016

New AAMRI President
Professor Tony Cunningham of the Westmead Institute officially took over the AAMRI presidency on 10 November for the next two years. Please read this profile on Tony in today’s edition of The Australian for some insight into what he sees is ahead for the health and medical research sector during his presidency. You’ll note that Tony has flagged hopes for improved funding of the full costs of research (aka indirect costs) via the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which was a central platform of AAMRI’s MRFF submission.
Tony is also on Twitter: @AAMRIpresident

MRFF Strategy and Priorities released
The Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021, and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018, both guiding the Medical Research Future Fund, were launched on 9 November at the AAMRI Annual Dinner (see below).

The Strategy was developed after extensive consultation and focuses on areas for investment that cut across the health system delivering health and economic benefits from research discoveries and innovation. The Priorities outline MRFF funding plans for the next two years, including improved use of health data, clinical researcher fellowships, commercialisation initiatives, support for new a clinical trials network, as well as a focus on antimicrobial resistance.

2016 Annual Dinner
We were delighted to have Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Health and and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, both speak at our Annual Dinner, which was once again held in the Great Hall at Parliament House with many MPs, Senators, MRI Board Chairs, sector representatives, and other special guests in attendance.

In his speech, the Prime Minister touched on the contents of the MRFF Strategy and Priorities, while the Minister went into further detail. Both expressed their admiration and gratitude for Australian medical research, with Minister Ley noting the health system would be stagnant without research. Their speeches can be viewed here.

The CSL Young Florey medal was also presented at the Annual Dinner to Professor Mark Kendall for his work on the Nanopatch for vaccine delivery. We thank CSL for their generous sponsorship of the medal and our dinner, and invite you to view CSL Chief Scientific Officer and R&D Director Dr Andrew Cuthbertson’s speech from the night.

And finally, Professor Doug Hilton delivered his last official speech as AAMRI President at the dinner, which is also available to watch online.

2016 AAMRI Convention
Around 80 delegates from MRIs around Australia attended the 2016 AAMRI Convention, hearing from speakers on the MRFF, Cooperative Research Centre applications, how to improve efficiency in MRIs, workforce insights, and other topics. Many of the talks are available on the AAMRI website.

We’ll soon be emailing attendees a brief survey for feedback to be incorporated into planning for next year’s convention.

President’s Breakfast
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spoke at the AAMRI President’s breakfast the morning after our dinner, which also happened to be the morning after the US election. This had gender equity on the Opposition Leader’s mind, and he spoke about this in the context of our sector, and more, in his speech.

NHMRC Consultation: National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007
The NHMRC is proposing a revision of Section 3 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Submissions are invited until 21 December.

Call for input on Australian-German 2017 calendar of science and innovation events
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science are working with colleagues in Germany to develop an Australian-German calendar of science and innovation events for 2017. If you have any events you would like listed please send them through to enquiries@aamri.org.au and we will forward these on for inclusion. Events can be either open invitation or closed events, and can be held in Australia or Germany.

Consultation – Software as a Medical Device: Clinical Evaluation
The International Medical Device Regulators Forum Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) Working Group is developing guidance for the clinical evaluation of (and evidence for) SaMD, and has released a proposed guidance for public comment. The Therapeutic Goods Administration is inviting interested parties to comment by 2 December.