Medical Research Future Fund

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (Advisory Board) has recently been appointed under the auspices of the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 (MRFF Act). The MRFF Act establishes the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to provide grants of financial assistance to support health and medical research and innovation. These grants will aim to translate research findings into clinical practice, with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians.  

To guide the funding disbursements from the MRFF, the Advisory Board must determine the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy (Strategy) and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (Priorities) through a consultation process.

As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the $20 billion MRFF as a dedicated vehicle for investment in medical research.  It is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history, the net earnings of which will serve as a permanent and sustainable revenue stream. The MRFF is expected to disburse around $1 billion a year in the future and will provide long term, stable funding for medical research. Research will be strategically funded in order to address national priorities in a more cohesive and coordinated way than under previous approaches. The funding will aim to:

  • address medical research priorities;
  • drive innovation;
  • improve delivery of health care;
  • boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system; and
  • contribute to economic growth.

Through the MRFF there will be a greater focus on effective research translation to improve healthcare delivery and embed evidence into clinical practice.

The MRFF will operate within an interlinked whole-of-government research agenda. Key areas of current work include the work of the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) and the existing work of the major research funders such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). The recently launched National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) represents a new and important player in the whole-of-government research agenda.



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