Submission to the South Australian Productivity Commission Inquiry into Health and Medical Research

Submission to the South Australian Productivity Commission Inquiry into Health and Medical Research

25th May, 2020

The South Australian Productivity Commission has recently held a consultation as the first stage of their 2020 Inquiry into Health and Medical Research in South Australia. The Commission has invited submissions in response to an issues paper.

AAMRI’s submission provided feedback on the issues paper in three parts:

  • Part 1: Medical research institutes: improving health outcomes through research
  • Part 2: Considerations for assessing health and medical research performance and activity
  • Part 3: Enhancing health and medical research capacity, productivity and impact in South Australia.

AAMRI also put forward the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1. Performance of health and medical research should be assessed using measures of research and translation activity that are working towards or achieves the primary goal of improving health outcomes.

Recommendation 2. Establish two South Australian Fellowship schemes to attract, enable and retain medical research talent in the state:

    • Establish Clinician-researcher fellowships with a defined and flexible workforce model for prioritising both research and health service delivery activities
    • Establish EMCR Fellowships to attract and retain outstanding researchers to build the next generation of research leaders in South Australia.

Recommendation 3. Establish State Government funding initiatives that assist research organisations to meet the full costs of research by providing funding for essential research and translation activities not covered by research grants (indirect costs).

Recommendation 4. Invest in mechanisms to stimulate large-scale collaborations led by South Australian researchers to leverage Australian Government funding including:

    • A seed grant scheme to stimulate new collaborative research projects led by South Australian researchers to increase competitiveness for Australian Government grants
    • Investment in research projects and programs that draw on existing areas of research strength and collaborations through precincts (e.g. Adelaide Biomed City Precinct) and collaborative centres (e.g. Health Translation SA) or distinct national initiatives such as an Australian Cancer Research Institutes Network.
    • Identify opportunities for State government co-investment with the Australian Government to build capacity and large-scale collaborative research initiatives based on South Australia’s research strengths