FUNDING WIN: The war against dengue fever and tuberculosis will be taken up a notch with a more than $15 million funding package to enhance Australia’s tropical health research. PIC: CSIRO Source: Supplied
THE war against dengue fever and tuberculosis will be taken up a notch with a more than $15 million funding package to enhance Australia’s tropical health research.
The Federal Government has announced it would provide $6.9 million in next week’s Budget to build the nation’s research capacity and fund collaborative projects focused on diseases including dengue, malaria, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and Hendra virus.
The Australian Tropical Medicine Commercialisation Grants Program will also provide $8.5 million to commercialise research in new tropical therapeutics and diagnostics carried out in Australia.
This will build connections between the nation’s research institutes and global players in the health sector included pharmaceutical companies and philanthropic organisations like the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said Australia’s tropical researchers and research hubs were among the best in the world. He said by 2050, half of the world’s populations would live in the tropics … with the region home to more middle class consumers than anywhere else.
Professor Ian Wronski, deputy vice-chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University, said the funding would back critical initiatives for Australia’s future.
“It’s an area of strength for Australia, and we do punch a long way above our weight, on the research side,’’ he said.
“But on the commercialisation side, we need a lot more work done.”