Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, is set to unveil a new advisory board today to advise the Government on how to invest distributions from the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

An Abbott government policy designed to heighten Australia’s involvement in medical research – the largest of its kind to date – the MRFF forms part of the Government’s health reform and innovation agenda.

Australian scientist, Professor Ian Frazer, known for developing the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, will Chair the MRFF, which is charged with developing the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy every five years, and Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities every two years. The Board will also advise the Health Minister on issues relating to the use of MRFF funding.

Innovation is critical to the Coalition’s economic agenda, with Prime Minister, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP announcing a $36.4 million expansion of the Bio21 collaboration last month, involving the University of Melbourne and vaccines manufacturer, CSL. Another $250 million of the Biomedical Translation Fund will aim to commercialise research into products.

Seven other directors will sit on the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board including Chief Executive of Bionomics, Deborah Rathjen; Chief Executive of Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Yasser El-Ansary; Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland, Peter Hoj; President of The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, Doug Hilton; academic from Flinders University, Karen Reynolds; Chief Executive of the Red Cross Blood Service, Jennifer Williams; and Chief Executive of the NHMRC, Anne Kelso.