Medical Research Future Fund – A 21st Century Snowy Mountains Scheme

Medical Research Future Fund – A 21st Century Snowy Mountains Scheme

14th July, 2014

The board chairs of the largest medical research institutes in Australia have come out in support of the Medical Research Future Fund ahead of the Senate vote.

The 13 board chairs, including some of Australia’s most prominent business people, believe the proposed Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will have a nation-building impact akin to what the Snowy Mountains Scheme meant to a post-war Australia.

In a joint statement, the 13 board chairs (listed below), outlined their argument for the MRFF and its potential impact on Australians’ health and the nation’s economy:

“We are mainly from Australian business, so it may seem counter-intuitive that we support research funded from the public purse, but the reality is that health and medical research requires substantial investment that is not driven by profit.

“Early-stage discovery work is often too premature for commercial investment and would not occur if left to the private sector.

“Australian medical research expenditure trails many other western nations. While the quality of Australian research excels, we will fall behind if this funding gap is not addressed.

“The MRFF represents the single most important initiative in our nation’s history to ensure that Australia stays at the leading edge of medical science, with profound benefits to our health, the world’s health, and to our economy. We urge the new Senate to throw its support behind this pioneering initiative for the sake of the health of every Australian and of our generations to come.”

Leigh Clifford AO, Chair, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Christopher Coyne, Acting Chair, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Matthew Grounds, Chair, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Wendy Harris QC, Chair, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Richard Hill, Chair, Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research
John Langoulant AO, Chair, Telethon Kids Institute
Alastair Lucas AM, Chair, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health
Harold Mitchell AC, Chair, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Peter Scott, Chair, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
John Schubert AO, Chair, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Raymond Spencer, Chair, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
Christopher Thomas, Chair, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
David Watson, Chair, Translational Research Institute


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Rebecca Thorpe, Communications Officer
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