The Murdoch Children's Research Institute has welcomed news that the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will reach $20 billion by 2020-21 regardless of who wins the federal election.

In response to The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) election statement, outlining three key priorities, the Coalition has responded with:

  • A commitment to see the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) reach $20 billion, on time and on schedule by 2020-21.
  • Supporting the NHMRC and increasing this account over the forward estimates in line with indexation.
  • Investing $793 million over 10 years for the Frontiers program and clinical researcher fellowships to ensure the next generation of talented Australians have the capacity to make and progress great medical discoveries.

At the Federal Budget in April the government provided a 10 year investment plan for the MRFF. The plan outlines eight significant health missions that will see substantial investment including genomics, brain cancer, mental health, dementia, cardiovascular, Indigenous health, stem cell therapies, and traumatic brain injury.

Long term plans are particularly good news for the sector as they allow researchers to undertake ambitious projects that will deliver us an innovative research-led healthcare system.

Earlier this month Labor also committed $20 billion to the fund as well as investing in mid-career researchers and women in STEM and strengthening the governance of the MRFF to ensure all funding is awarded through contestable, peer-reviewed and transparent processes.

These commitments are  vital to ensure Australia can turn innovative discoveries in the lab into new and effective treatments, while also delivering an affordable healthcare system. By honouring existing budget commitments and fully-funding the MRFF by 2020-21, the fund will then invest around $1 billion per year back into the medical research sector.