The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

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Boosting Medical Research: Baird Government commitments

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We are pleased to announce the Baird Government have committed to funding $3 million towards our new Lung Cancer Research Centre if they are re-elected next term. This is exciting news and will enable us to revolutionise the way we research and treat lung cancers. Please watch our video and read the media release below for more information. 

The Baird Government has allocated a record $900 million over the last four years to support medical research which drives the discovery of new treatments, new medicines, new technology, and new and improved ways of providing health care. 

Over the next four years, a re-elected Baird Government will boost support for health and medical research even further with an extra $159 million, on top of base funding of $900 million. This will further our focus on positioning NSW as a global leader in the field of health and medical research. 

Baird Government medical research highlights of the past four years include:

  1. an increase in the Medical Research Support Program to $37.3 million annually, with CPI growth each year for four years, to boost grants to NSW’s independent medical research institutes;
  2. the conduct of a review of medical research needs, the development of a ten year medical research plan and the establishment of the Office for Health and Medical Research;
  3. the allocation of: $30 million in capital grants to support the establishment of the Westmead Millennium Hub; $20 million for the Children’s Medical Research Institute at Westmead; and $6 million for Neuroscience Research Australia in Randwick;
  4. the establishment of the Medical Devices Fund which has, to date, awarded $18 million to fast track the development of life changing medical devices to commercial reality;
  5. the development of the $24 million Sydney Genomic Collaborative program, placing NSW at the forefront of the genomics revolution; and
  6. the provision of $122 million, through Cancer Institute NSW, to support cancer research, including research equipment grants, research infrastructure grants, clinical trial grants, research fellowships and funding for seven Translational Cancer Research Centres. This funding includes $7 million for translational research grants which convert laboratory breakthroughs into treatments for cancer patients.

New medical research commitments by the Baird Government for the next four years, totalling $159 million, comprise: 

1. $70 million in medical research grants, comprising:

- $15 million for paediatric research, comprising:

  • $6 million for Australia’s first large-scale paediatric clinical trials centre at Kids Research Institute, Westmead; 
  • $5.5 million for upgraded facilities, equipment and technology at Kids Research Institute, the Children’s Medical Research Institute at Westmead, and Children’s Cancer Institute Australia at Randwick; 
  • $2.5 million for increased and upgraded laboratory space at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, where the Institute’s personalised medicine program targets the most effective cancer treatment to the biology of each child’s cancer; and 
  • $1 million for enhancements to the Children’s Medical Research Institute’s Gene Vector Lab where treatments are developed for genetic childhood diseases, 
  • $10 million for the Bright Alliance, Prince of Wales Hospital to relocate all paediatric research to one location at the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Randwick. Paediatric research centres at Randwick are currently scattered across the campus;
  • $10 million for Neuroscience Research Australia to complete refurbishment of the Margarete Ainsworth building at Randwick to consolidate research into mental health and neurological conditions such as dementia to enhance the work of NeuRa and the Schizophrenia Research Institute; 
  • $10 million for the University of Sydney - Westmead Precinct redevelopment for planning for an innovation hub connecting research, education and health services;
  • $12 million for the State-wide Population and Secondary Biobank to enhance research capacity and address the lack of state-wide storage of bio-specimens and disease specific biobanking in NSW; 
  • $7.5 million for the Research Ethics and Governance Information System for critical IT infrastructure that manages work flow, monitoring, metrics, research ethics and governance processes; 
  • $3 million for the Woolcock Institute for the establishment of a Lung Cancer Research Centre in Glebe. Lung cancer is Australia’s biggest cancer killer and its five year survival rate is just 18%; and
  • $2.5 million for the New Institute of Academic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for the first Australian centre devoted to surgical research and clinical trials.

2. $20 million extra for the Medical Research Support Program, taking our infrastructure support for independent medical research institutes to $42.3 million a year;

3. $40 million for a new Health Services Research Support Program to support research by frontline health clinicians;

4. $19 million to help locally developed medical devices to reach the market and remain NSW based, comprising:

  • an additional $12.8 million for the Medical Devices Fund;
  • $5 million to triple the number of NSW Medical Commercialisation Training Program post graduate positions offered each year to 60, and develop NSW based training capacity to incubate medical device entrepreneurship; and
  • $1.2 million for the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund which invests in next-stage development for medical devices on the brink of commercialisation; and

5. $10 million for scholarships for up to 66 PhDs and Post Doctorate Fellowships to support and retain early and mid-career researchers in NSW.


The Baird Government will also continue to fund dedicated cancer research of at least $125 million over four years through the NSW Cancer Institute, including $15 million in cancer research fellowships and $11 million in equipment grants.

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