The Australian Government’s new research fund to fast-track the latest breakthroughs in health and medical research into everyday care and treatment for patients is now open.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today called for applications for the inaugural Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund, with two levels of funding available of up to $100,000 and $500,000.

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A ground breaking bilateral international science agreement between New Zealand and Australia was signed today at the Leaders’ meetings in Queenstown.

The Australia – New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement is a commitment to valuable collaboration across the innovation and science systems, and between researchers and innovative companies, on both sides of the Tasman.

“International agreements bring new knowledge, ideas, people, technology and investment into New Zealand’s science and innovation system. These partnerships also contribute to the export of the unique research and innovation generated in New Zealand,” says Paul Goldsmith, New Zealand’s Science and Innovation Minister.

“Our collaboration with Australia in science and innovation is already extensive and constructive. This Agreement sets out a clear work programme that will provide a focus-point for our cooperation into the future.

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AgResearch intends to form a joint international research centre with China’s largest state–owned food company and largest university research department specialising in food science and nutrition.

AgResearch is a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, partnering with the pastoral sector to identify and deliver the innovation that is needed to create value for New Zealand. It has staff spread across four campuses and farms in the Waikato, Manawatu, Canterbury and Otago.

A Collaboration Arrangement was signed earlier this month in Beijing with the Nutrition and Health Research Institute (NHRI) within the China Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), and with the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering (CFSNE) of China Agriculture University (CAU).

The parties will explore opportunities to work together formally in the name of a “Joint International Research Centre for Food Science’ to promote international exchange, research and productivity, with a particular focus on further enhancing a China/New Zealand relationship”.

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The Turnbull Government is backing Australia’s world-leading medical researchers and scientists with $125.3 million to support their work in making the next major medical breakthrough.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding includes almost $39 million to fight multiple types of cancer facing children and adults, marking a significant investment on World Cancer Day.

Among the institutions receiving new funding, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne has been awarded $13.5 million to continue its world-leading research into cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

In Queensland, the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute will receive almost $20 million to develop the tools needed to eliminate tropical diseases – an issue that’s still of particular importance and relevance in the sunshine state.

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Bioscience Achievement Award
At the 2016 NZBIO awards dinner, NZBIO paid tribute to Margot Bethell and Andrew Kelly, who received Bioscience Awards for their lifetime achievements.

Margot Bethell is well known as the former programme director of the Bioscience Enterprise programme at the University of Auckland – a multidisciplinary science, business and law degree, with a core focus on the commercialisation of science. She is now co-founder and executive director of BioPacific Partners, which works with global partners to help connect them with Australian and New Zealand innovations from the region’s world-class science in food, health and agriculture.

Dr Andrew Kelly is also a co-founder and executive director of BioPacific. During his career he has led three separate research institutes during the 1990s – the Pastoral and Veterinary Institute, the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture and Invermay Research Centre. In the early 2000s Andrew led product development for AgResearch, engaging with start-ups and also fund-raising.

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A partnership between AgResearch and Massey University focusing on dairy and red meat research will see construction of a state-of-the-art $39 million facility on the University’s Manawatū campus over the next two years.

The Food Science Facility will be built alongside the existing Food Pilot Plant, part of the University’s College of Health, and become a vital new cog in the FoodHQ partnership that AgResearch and Massey share with a range of other entities in the central and lower North Island.

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Innovation Minister Greg Hunt and Health Minister Sussan Ley have announced the details of the $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF), including the guidelines.

In a joint statement with Health Minister Sussan Ley, Mr Hunt said the Government’s $250 million investment in the BTF would be dollar-matched by private sector co-investment.

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Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has today announced a NZ$35 million investment over four years for ‘Entrepreneurial Universities’, a new initiative to attract world-leading entrepreneurial researchers to New Zealand to further strengthen our universities and our broader fast-growing innovation ecosystem.

“Entrepreneurial Universities is all about attracting more of the world’s leading researchers and their teams to locate their labs here and base themselves in New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says. “We are especially wanting to recruit people with an established record in innovation and entrepreneurship in the top ‘maker’ disciplines, to help grow the pipeline of excellent innovative start-up companies in New Zealand, and train the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs.”

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An AU$10 million biopharmaceutical initiative with strong industry support will be established at The University of Queensland to train the next generation of scientists and enhance Australia’s capabilities in the pharmaceutical sector.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) researcher Associate Professor Stephen Mahler will direct the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation, which has received AU$4.3m in ARC funding and AU$5.5m in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners.

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