The McGowan Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to invest in a long-term health and medical research and innovation fund that will improve the future health and prosperity of all Western Australians.
Once legislation is passed, annual interest from the $1.3 billion WA Future Fund will be repurposed by the McGowan Government to supercharge future investment in health and medical research and innovation. This will double the current annual expenditure and position Western Australia as a centre for research excellence.
A centrepiece of the latest McGowan State Budget, the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund will address a gap in current investment in health and medical research and increase the calibre and capacity of projects undertaken locally.
An additional $52 million will be allocated to ramp up over a three-year period, from 2020-21 to 2022-23, significantly increasing investment to a total of $126.6 million over the next four years, transforming Western Australia into a leader in medical research and innovation.
The fund will safeguard the retention of WA’s best and brightest health researchers and innovators, and attract leading research from around the world.
The funding boost will also ensure that Western Australia does not lose potential innovation and commercialisation opportunities stemming from local research discoveries and innovative practices.
Investment through the fund will lead to additional opportunities for Western Australian projects to secure more competitive grants from funding bodies including the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and to leverage co-funding from other sources such as private industry and philanthropists.
In addition to the health benefits, this commitment will also act as a catalyst for State-wide economic and workforce growth. An evaluation in 2017 of 25 NHMRC-funded clinical trials found that if the outcomes from these trials were implemented in the wider population, every $1 awarded in NHMRC grants would result in a return of $51.10.
Allocations from the fund will be made through a robust governance structure ensuring that high-quality, relevant initiatives are supported by the fund.
For more 2019-20 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“A strong focus on research and innovation can help find new ways of keeping people healthy and curing serious disease.
“That’s why we made a commitment to establish a fund that will drive medical research and medical innovation.
“We’re providing a secure source of funding to boost research capability and create jobs and opportunities for Western Australians.
“By establishing the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, we will build a legacy for future generations – improving the future health and wellbeing of Western Australians and delivering new jobs and opportunities.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Investment in health and medical research and innovation is essential to drive discoveries and advances to address the cause, treatment and cures for our most vexing and costly illnesses.
“Just one discovery can potentially improve or save millions of lives around the world and can lower the cost of health care. Experience has taught us that supporting research and innovation also leads to better skilled and better informed clinicians and health workers, which translates to better care for patients.”
“The Future Health Research and Innovation Fund will provide Western Australia’s leading clinicians and medical researchers, and those who come after them, the capacity to make these discoveries and breakthroughs – leading to improved medical interventions and best practice in health care.”