It’s Our Time to Shine

biomed_research_vic_5069It’s time to celebrate – Victoria holds rank as Australia’s capital of health and biomedical research. But how will the sector evolve in 2017?

We recently learned that Victorian health and medical researchers, a majority from BioMedVic member organisations, secured over 40% of the NHMRC funding pie – and we celebrate this wonderful news wholeheartedly. Part of our success can be attributed to our well-established ability to work collaboratively in Victoria. One exemplar of this claim was the recent recognition of a longstanding collaboration between Jim McCluskey from the University of Melbourne and Jamie Rossjohn from Monash University. An international recognition was the Nature Index ranking Melbourne as one of the 10 centres around the world with the most intra-city research partnerships in 2015.

But we mustn’t rest on our laurels.

While it’s no secret that Melbourne thrives on collaborations and is inspired by innovation, we need to share not only our research infrastructure and skills, but our voice – particularly to government. A collaborative culture is needed to tackle the big challenges head-on, and to ensure our sector shines brightly and to its full potential. Because while we hear of grand political gestures, we need our combined expertise to come together to future-proof these plans.

BioMedVic has strong ties with the State Government which we use to advocate on behalf of our Members. We offer leadership in the sector and a robust connection to government decision-makers which withstands the pressures of short-term political cycles.

I want to remind Members that a collective voice is more powerful than that of any single member. This year, we saw just how powerful this voice can be.

In the run-up to the last state election, we met with policy makers from both parties, advocating for a long-term, well-coordinated Victorian innovation plan and suggested methods for establishing state-wide priorities and governance arrangements.

This year, we saw our advocacy platforms paying off with BioMedVic’s vision that Victoria become a global leader in health and medical innovation featuring in the Victorian Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020. This strategy responded to many of the recommendations submitted by BioMedVic, and we are proud to see a collective vision of our Members reflected.

Like the Western Bulldogs, BioMedVic is going for back-to-back performance in 2017.

I sincerely thank you for your support this year and wish you all the best for the festive season, and hope that you return refreshed and inspired for the New Year.

 Jan Tennent

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