The McGowan Government has today announced major reforms to capitalise on Western Australia’s emerging medical research and life sciences industry, with the creation of a WA Office of Medical Research and Innovation within the Department of Health.
The Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund is a landmark initiative of the McGowan Government which recognises the importance of health and medical research to the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians.
Over its first three years, the FHRI Fund will commit more than $80 million in support of health and medical research and innovation in WA.
Noting this significant investment, effective today, Friday July 1, 2022, the Office of Medical Research and Innovation (OMRI) is under the leadership of the Department of Health’s Deputy Director General Angela Kelly PSM, who was appointed to the role in 2021, as part of the Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Office will continue to work closely with the Future Health Research Innovation Ministerial Advisory Council, as well other agencies such as the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, to deliver on the medical research and innovation priorities of the McGowan Government. Its establishment is in recognition that Medical Research and Innovation is a key strategic priority for the McGowan Government.
OMRI will also benefit from the appointment of Professor S.S. Vasan to the role of Director of Research. Professor Vasan joins OMRI from the CSIRO, where he held the role of COVID-19 Science Leader.
As stated by Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Since taking office in 2017, the McGowan Labor Government has been delivering reforms to cut red tape and address barriers in research, innovation and commercialisation in the health and medical sector.
“This is an exciting time for medical research and innovation in Western Australia and delivers on the McGowan Government’s commitment to diversify WA’s economy.
“The emerging health and medical life sciences sector presents an opportunity to grow a new, globally significant and sustainable industry to contribute to the resilience of our economy.
“The Office of Medical Research and Innovation provides policy and funding support for health and medical research and innovation, particularly around the State Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.
“This support extends to both WA Health and the State’s wider health and medical research and innovation sector.
“Western Australia has some of the most dedicated researchers in the world, at a time of extraordinary growth for the health and medical research sector.
“WA is home to one of the most advanced clinical trial centres in the entire Asia-Pacific region, which will help position WA as a leading destination for biopharmaceutical companies.
“The McGowan Government is proud to support and accelerate their progress for the benefit of all Western Australians health and wellbeing.”