This week the federal government has announced $47m in funding over the next four years to accelerate research into preventing, diagnosing and treating Heart Disease and Diabetes. The funding will be delivered through the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator initiative (TTRA), part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
This is good news for the T1D community, and reflects the great work done by JDRF advocates along with other organisations and individuals in the diabetes community. We have a long and proud history of advocating for increased Government support for research. This approach, driven in partnership with the community has seen our Clinical Research Network (CRN) receive three separate and significant rounds of federal funding, totalling $71m over 10 years.
In 2018, we campaigned for the continuation of the CRN and asked Government for $50 million dollars (over 5 years) for type one diabetes research. As a result of this campaigning the Morrison Government committed more than $50m ($54.5m) to T1D research. This resulted in $31m already provided directly to the CRN, with a further $25m committed to broader diabetes research. These further funds will form part of today’s announcement.
Securing these funds, which is independent and complementary of the CRN, is a validation of the effectiveness of JDRF’s advocates and partners as a large proportion of these funds will have an impact on type 1 diabetes research. It is through the tireless efforts of the JDRF community that we have been able to convince government of the impact on research in T1D and it is considered as serious as more prominent, well-known conditions, and to include it as such a substantial part of this most recent announcement on top of the monies already provided for the Clinical Research Network. This approach also ensures that the focus and direction of the CRN is secure, and that new creative, different ways to fight T1D have additional pathways to funding.
As part of the project, researchers will be able to apply for funding that looks at a number of areas, namely:
- Research into diabetes complications, a substantial problem and concern for many with T1D
- Projects examining cross-disease interactions (such as type 1 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), which are often under-represented in current research programs
- Support for early stage therapies and device product that can provide substantial benefit for those with diabetes; and
- Targeted investment in promising diabetes targets
The project will be run by MTP Connect, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to accelerate the rate of progress and commercial availability of new treatments and technologies. MTP Connect and the TTRA board which includes myself and former JDRF board member Rebecca Davies AO, will meet shortly to map out the deliverables of this exciting initiative.
To all of you who have contributed to driving the understanding that research holds the key to a world without T1D, thank you. If you have any questions on this, please do not hesitate to reach out at email@example.com
Mike Wilson OAM, CEO and Managing Director, JDRF Australia