Category: Advocacy

Victorian Government Vouchers are Back!

BioMedVic welcomes today’s news that the Victorian Government is investing in the future of Victorian businesses with $14.5 million in new funding to help businesses grow.

Under the Boost Your Business program, Victorian businesses will be able to apply for vouchers to access targeted services from January 2018. The vouchers will provide funding for businesses to engage registered service providers to undertake activities such as developing new products, improving business processes and systems, identifying new export markets, undertaking research and development or gaining certification.

The vouchers will be available under four different streams:

The first round opens on 29 January 2018 and more information is available here.

Message from the CEO

“Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind.”

This quote from Dr. Seuss speaks to leadership, progression and discovery – qualities that characterise Victoria’s health and medical research sector and will see it clear to become a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

BioMedVic is the premier voice for linking medical research to clinical care in Victoria and as we wind down for the year, we reflect on much to be proud of.

We saw our advocacy platform bear fruit. BioMedVic assisted the Victorian Government to deliver almost $4 million of initiatives that support the state’s Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020: the prestigious and valuable Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships and the transformative Medical Research Acceleration Fund awards. These initiatives responded to recommendations submitted by BioMedVic in response to Victorian Government discussion papers in 2015, and we are proud to see the collective vision of our Members reflected.

BioMedVic represents over 18,000 of Victoria’s 25,000-strong community of scientists and clinicians working in our member network of universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes and CSIRO.

In 2017, BioMedVic’s Chair, George Morstyn, and I represented the diverse interests of these people and organisations in briefings to state and federal Ministers, ministerial advisors and senior leaders in key government departments.

BioMedVic’s opinion leader forums, the Scientific Advisory Council and the Hospital Research Directors Forum, exchanged knowledge and sector intelligence, and provided input into key Victorian Government committees, including the Science, Medical Research and Technology (SMaRT) Panel, the Digital Health Strategic Advisory Committee and the Ministerial Advisory Council addressing the Victorian health system design, service and infrastructure plan.

Also in 2017, we stimulated the research careers of 39 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) scholars in partnership with CSL, the program’s Principal Sponsor, bringing the grand total of jobs facilitated through UROP to 649!

Collaboration is in Melbourne’s DNA.

This year, BioMedVic made sure this message was heard loud, clear and globally through the launch of the online research network map that showed Melbourne’s output and collaboration in high quality research in partnership with Nature Index.

We are proud of our 16-year history of facilitating collaboration in Victoria’s health and medical research sector, ensuring our sector shines to its full potential. I am confident BioMedVic’s work will continue to drive stronger research, employment, investment and growth for the future.

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

Jan Tennent

Spotlight on Melbourne’s life science collaboration

As we reflect on the year that was, BioMedVic warmly invites you to explore the key connections that are at the heart of Melbourne’s reputation as a City of Science and Innovation. We are excited to announce a new spotlight on life science research!

BioMedVic’s partner, Springer Nature, recently updated the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map, by adding subject filters for life science, earth and environmental science, chemistry and physical science.

What exactly is the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map?

The Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map is an online, interactive, updateable research network map which is powered by the Nature Index and sponsored by BioMedVic. It shows output and collaboration in high quality research between institutions in the greater Melbourne region.

The Nature Index tracks high-quality research and collaborations by measuring the contribution of institutions to a set of high-quality journals in the natural sciences. An institution’s contribution to these journals is its fractional count (FC), while article count (AC) is the number of an institution’s journal articles that appear in the Nature Index. Institutions are represented in their locations by circles on the map, with the size and colour of the circle representative of the institution’s FC.

When evaluating the collaborative effort between two institutions, a bilateral collaboration score (CS) is derived. This is sum of the FCs from articles with authors from both institutions. Local bilateral collaborations between institutions within the greater city area are represented by the lines on the map with the line thickness and colour representative of the strength of the collaboration, while the top international bilateral collaborations are listed in the popup box for each institution. The collaborations of child institutions that are part of a larger institution are shown as dashed lines. In most instances, only the primary location of an institution is mapped.

Not your average map

Confused at first glance? Below is a quick guide to help you find your way around the information presented on the Melbourne Collaboration Map.

All in the numbers

The Melbourne Collaboration Map puts publication data tracked by the Nature Index right at your fingertips. Here is what you can learn about your organisation:

Time to see how your organisation tracks! Explore the Melbourne Collaboration Map here.

Discount for Members

BioMedVic Members are reminded that they are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on job ads in Naturejobs including the job feed on the map. To list a job post, please contact Lisa Truong (lisa.truong@nature.com).

Department home ground for medical researcher

Joanne Enticott’s stint as a researcher in residence in the Department of Health and Human Services was so successful she was invited to speak at the Biomedical Research Victoria (BioMedVic) annual general meeting.

Accompanied by her supervisor, principal policy advisor Jennifer Pitcher, Dr Enticott discussed the benefits of her time in DHHS’ office of health and medical research.

The Researcher in Residence program is the initiative of BioMedVic, the state’s leading network linking medical research to clinical care through its member universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other research organisations.

BioMedVic’s vision is for the Victorian health and medical research sector to be a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

The goals of the program are to:

•       Provide an opportunity for a postgraduate biomedical research scientist to gain an understanding of political and parliamentary processes;

•       Enable governments to receive background information and advice on current issues in health and medical research;

•       Establish ongoing, two-way, links with the health and medical research community.

Dr Enticott, a translational clinical research design specialist and biostatistician, has particular interest in health services research and mental health.

She spent a day a week at DHHS from early July to late November while continuing her usual work in Monash University’s Department of Psychiatry, supported by Monash Health.

During her time at the department, Dr Enticott assisted with health services research policy work – mapping Victorian bio-medical precinct stakeholders and major collaborations within the precincts – and provided a researcher perspective on a range of initiatives.

DHHS accessed Dr Enticott’s expertise, fostering additional links with universities and gaining a greater understanding of the work of a biomedical research scientist.

Dr Enticott told the BioMedVic AGM she valued being immersed within a Victorian government department and experienced first-hand the development of policy.

She said she had already recommended the Researcher in Residence program to others.

 

This article was originally published by the Department of Health & Human Services on the Health Victoria website.

Image: Researcher in Residence Joanne Enticott (left) and her DHHS supervisor Jennifer Pitcher (right).

Image credit: Department of Health & Human Services

 

Prof Jan Tennent elected to AusBiotech Board

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent will have further opportunity to link Victoria’s health and medical research and clinical care with industry after being elected today to the AusBiotech Board of Directors.

The election outcome was announced at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of AusBiotech Ltd, held at the AusBiotech national conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 25 October 2017.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent will have further opportunity to link Victoria’s health and medical research and clinical care with industry after being elected today to the AusBiotech Board of Directors.

The election outcome was announced at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of AusBiotech Ltd, held at the AusBiotech national conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 25 October 2017.

Jan Tennent is a respected senior executive and networked business leader with international and national experience in the pharmaceutical, biologicals, agribiotech and research sectors. She has a proven record of contribution and accomplishment in the governance and management of NFP organisations and highly matrixed organisations including CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer. Renowned for her trustworthiness and diligence, Jan brings innovation, expertise and focus to her roles.

In her previous role as Director for Business Development & Global Alliances at Pfizer Animal Health, Jan was responsible for maximising the growth and profitability of APAC business units and leading the due diligence and negotiation teams for a number of company and product acquisitions and numerous technology licenses and collaborative R&D agreements.

As a member of the CSL Animal Health executive team Jan was responsible for new product opportunity evaluation and leadership of product development and the launch teams for unique vaccines in Australia and the UK.

Jan brings expertise in forging and nurturing relationships and a persuasive advocacy style to her current role as CEO of Biomedical Research Victoria, the premier voice for linking health and medical research to clinical care in Victoria.

Jan’s research career included periods as Director of the CRC for Vaccine Technology and Program Manager for the Vaccines and Immunology group of CSIRO Animal Health. In these roles, Jan honed her innovation and management skills having oversight of the research and vaccine clinical trial activities of a 20-strong team.

An alumnus of Monash and Deakin universities, Jan was appointed in 2017 as Collaborative Professor at the University of Osaka.  She is a Principal Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jan said: “I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience in the pharma, bio, agricultural and animal industries as well as research to contribute and add value to the terrific work that AusBiotech is already doing on behalf of its members.”

Chair’s Report

“Whichever way you look at it, there is no doubt of the value of our role as the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical outcomes. It’s through our efforts that all Victorians can be confident they are getting the very best value for monies invested in healthcare and in research.

BioMedVic fosters collaboration and creates the synergies needed to deliver real health outcomes for the people of this State.”

– Mrs Jane Bell

Many of you will know that I joined the Board of BioMedVic a year ago. I have been or continue to be a Board member of six other health and medical research organisations which reflects my genuine interest and passion for the work that people like you do.

Of late, this interest has become deeply personal for me, with both of my parents facing major health challenges.

So, I’ve been reminded of the quality of Victoria’s clinicians and the first-class research and technology that enables them to deliver heath care that is second to none in the world. In pondering this though, I can’t help but wonder if we’re perhaps not all just a little guilty of forgetting how terrific things are in Victoria – or possibly of taking it for granted.

Of course, that’s a perfect segue to reflect on the rationale for having an organisation like Biomedical Research Victoria.

Whichever way you look at it, there is no doubt of the value of our role as the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical outcomes. It’s through our efforts that all Victorians can be confident they are getting the very best value for monies invested in healthcare and in research.

BioMedVic fosters collaboration and creates the synergies needed to deliver real health outcomes for the people of this State.

Our efforts drive early alignment between research and the clinic to give a clear line of sight between research and new knowledge and treatments that lead to better patient care and life-changing outcomes.

But the world in which BioMedVic and its member organisations operate is under pressure. Constrained funding for health and medical research is driving increased competition between organisations.

Sadly, something of a gold rush mentality has emerged with organisational effort being increasingly distracted by the hunt for funding. Everyone’s looking to be the best friend of government and to make the best deal for their organisation, if only in the shorter term and running the risk of piecemeal investments creating piecemeal solutions.

What all this highlights is that BioMedVic is needed now more than ever. By our very nature we are doing what others can’t do.

We’re providing a genuine link between researchers, clinicians, patient care, hospitals, universities, medical research institutes, CSIRO and others. We are unifying disparate voices to achieve the very best link between research and clinical care. We’re taking a whole of sector perspective to ensure its viability well into the future and working to maintain Victoria as the leading State for health and medical research and clinical care not only for Australia, but also the world.

We are the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical care in this State.

Through all of us, Victorians get the best value for money for their investment in their own health.

Biomedical Research Victoria has a very real and needed purpose. What we do now, can and will shape Victoria’s medical research and clinical care landscape for future generations.

We need – Victorians need – your ongoing and unwavering support to make that happen.

Mrs Jane Bell

CEO’s Report

“2016/2017 has been a significant year for Biomedical Research Victoria and we can rightly be proud of what we have achieved. It is important that we remind ourselves of the key role BioMedVic plays as the premier voice for linking health and medical research to clinical care in Victoria. Our reach is significant and should not be underestimated.

BioMedVic embraces more than three quarters of Victoria’s 25,000 biomedical scientists and clinicians across universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other organisations.”

– Prof Jan Tennent
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Congratulations Vic Gov Fellowship Recipients

The three recipients of the Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships were announced on July 19. The fellowships are intended to develop initiatives and strategies, leading to clinical or commercial outcomes in the areas of bioinformatics, genomics and/or health services research.

The three recipients are:

  • Dr Allison Milner, to develop initiatives and strategies, in association with workplaces and the business community, to reduce the incidence of mental health and rates of suicide in working age men by linking them into health services.
  • Dr Bernard Pope, to develop solutions to aid the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer
  • Associate Professor Ilana Ackerman, to research how and why hip and knee replacements can sometimes fail, and develop methods to minimise it

Science Medical Research & Technology Panel Chair Brigitte Smith said “The three fellowships were selected from a quality field of more than 100 eligible applications, and went through a rigorous assessment and shortlisting process to prioritise the key research projects which we are confident will have a real and lasting impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”

BioMedVic is proud of the work it has been doing on behalf of the Victorian Government to roll out these fellowships. And we are now pleased to be supporting the DHHS with its roll out of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund.

Researcher in Residence – Meet Dr Michelle Hall

Dr Michelle Hall (Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, University of Melbourne) is participating in BioMedVic’s flagship Policy Skills development program, Researcher In Residence. She has been in Canberra for two weeks with Senator Kim Carr, Senator for Victoria in the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

“My glimpse into the parliamentary process has been tremendously insightful, and thanks to BioMedVic and Senator Carr I have made meaningful connections that I hope in time will reduce the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia and world-wide.” – Dr Michelle Hall
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