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.

Growing health services research in Victoria

BioMedVic continues to build relations and work in partnership with the Victorian Government on key topics for the state and sector. With the Victorian Cancer Agency and the Office of Health and Medical Research, BioMedVic recently conducted a joint workshop to identify strategies to build capacity in health services research (HSR) in Victoria.

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Innovation is the new black… and Melbourne wears it well!

Such was the theme of my recent presentation at Deakin Edge in the final event of Innovation Week 2015. I used the opportunity to build on BioMedVic’s advocacy position that Victoria, and indeed Australia, needs a long-term science and innovation plan that has bi-partisan support, is well-coordinated, appropriately funded and overseen by a senior Minister.

With talk of “innovation” on the lips of so many lately, the scene was well and truly set for an optimistic response from the health and biomedical research sector to the invitation on 7 December from Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Pyne to join the #IdeasBoom.

Fuelled by $1.1 billion of initiatives over 4 years, the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) will “drive smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success”.

No doubt the devil will be in the detail, that is still to come, but BioMedVic applauds the statement as an excellent start and already the source of renewed confidence across the sector. Of particular note was:

  1. the prospect of a whole-of-government approach to innovation via a cross-cabinet committee chaired by the PM.
  2. establishment of Innovation and Science Australia, the new independent advisory body composed of experienced members with successful track records of investing in research and its commercialisation including Bill Ferris (chair) and Alan Finkel (deputy chair);
  3. establishment of a $250 million Biomedical Translation Fund; and
  4. investment of $1.5 billion in the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and $520 million for the Australian Synchroton.

Signing off now to head to the ‘sold out’ Melbourne briefing on NISA by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Many thanks for your support throughout 2015 and I look forward to working with you again in the new year.

We live in such exciting times!

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(Pictures source: M.Evans-Galea)