As for many Australian organisations, December-January was a quieter period for BioMedVic. But our advocacy on behalf of Members continues.
Victorian Parliament resumed last week and most of our Members are ‘back in town’. Amanda Caples and I are in the diary to catch up about what’s happening in DEDJTR and at BioMedVic, to hear what her plans are as Lead Scientist for the state and in which areas BioMedVic may be of assistance. Among the topics I will raise when I meet with Linda Christine, Director Innovation, Industry and International Health in DHHS, is the future of the Operational Infrastructure Support Program that provides funding for indirect research costs to eligible independent medical research institutes in Victoria.
At BioMedVic, we reiterate our key advocacy positions at every opportunity: Victoria and Victorians will be best served by a long-term science and innovation plan that has bipartisan support; is well supported financially and focussed on areas in which Victoria is or has the potential to be a world leader and in which the clinical and economic benefits can be captured; is well coordinated across the whole of government and robust enough to withstand the cycles of politics and politicians.
You will be interested to learn that I’ve now had three productive meetings with Gareth Goodier to learn more about his new role and focus as Executive Chair of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. Charged with providing “strategic advice to the Victorian Government on actions required to drive economic development in the Parkville Precinct” there is clearly some geographical overlap between his role and the state-wide remit of BioMedVic. I will be doing all I can to make sure that we continue to have open and constructive dialogue and work cooperatively to ensure that all of Victoria’s health and medical research community benefits from the attentions and resources of the Government and the Premier through his Jobs and Investment Panel.
Meanwhile, BioMedVic’s ties to the Victorian Government continue to bear fruit – evident by the opportunity to assist the government by administering the application process for the Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships. We couldn’t be more pleased to see this tangible translation to reality of one of the objectives of the Victorian Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 and are proud to work with the government to support mid-career health and medical researchers.
We’ve certainly hit the ground running this year and look forward to continuing our advocacy marathon throughout 2017.