MRFF Update

MRFF Update

4th April, 2016

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) now has an advisory Board to guide the distribution of its funds, with AAMRI President Doug Hilton one of its appointees.

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, to be chaired by former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer AC, will be responsible for shaping the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy (every five years) and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (every two years) to guide the allocation of financial assistance and grants from the MRFF.

The official announcement of the advisory Board will be made later today by Health Minister Sussan Ley at TRI in Queensland, however the names of the Board members have been released via the media.

The members of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board are:

  • Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair)
  • Professor Anne Kelso AO, CEO, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Professor Doug Hilton, President, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)
  • Professor Peter Hoj, Vice Chancellor, University of Queensland
  • Professor Karen Reynolds, Flinders University and Chair, Biomedical Engineering College, Engineers Australia
  • Dr Deborah Rathjen, CEO & Managing Director, Bionomics
  • Yasser El-Ansary, Chief Executive, AVCAL (Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited)
  • Jennifer Williams, former Chief Executive, Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Doug is honoured to be on the Board and said he was pleased to see so many stellar contributors to health and medical research involved, alongside some of Australia’s finest leaders from health policy and research commercialisation. For more, please see AAMRI’s media release.

In a very happy coincidence, today we’ve launched the next stage in our What’s the Fuss campaign supporting the Medical Research Future Fund, promoting some new videos on Facebook.

Our Facebook community is now set-up (www.facebook.com/whatsthefussAU) and we’ll be both posting and advertising our new videos there. We’d love it if you would like our page and share it with your friends/followers.

During April we will focus on all things children, with two different versions of a video with patients, families and researchers discussing What’s the Fuss about medical research. The first one is 45 seconds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C03pp3xbDw) and the second one is 60 seconds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET0912M7DyA), and includes an explanation of what the Medical Research Future Fund is and how it will benefit Australians.

In May we will focus on conditions affecting the brain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9txMz-9IewM), and in June we will focus on cancers of all kinds (video to come).

Given it took more than six months for the appointment of the MRFF Board to oversee the fund’s direction and distribution to be announced, it is clear we need to keep the MRFF in the public eye to have any chance of seeing the fund fully capitalised at $20 billion, delivering an additional $1 billion per year to medical research and effectively doubling Federal Government investment.

We would appreciate you sharing our Facebook community and videos. Below is some suggested wording to accompany the videos, but please feel free to use your own if you prefer.

We value your support and welcome any questions or feedback you may have.

Suggested wording:
Check out the What’s the Fuss page to find out more about the important role medical research plays in helping us to live healthier and longer lives.
Or
Check out the What’s the Fuss page to find out about how increased government funding for medical research will help change the lives of millions of Australians.

Suggested wording:
Medical research has a vital role to play in the health of all Australian children, including Ruby and Georgia who are featured in this short video.

Suggested wording:
We all want our children to live happy and healthy lives, but without government investment in vital medical research many kids will not have that chance.

Suggested wording:
The brain is our most mysterious organ, with so much more to learn about it. Medical research is the only way we will gain understanding, but we need government investment to make that happen.