NHMRC’s ambition to recognise and support strong collaboration in research translation in the health system took another step this week with our international panel interviewing 8 shortlisted candidates for recognition as Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres.
Applications for recognition covered most of Australia, showing the high level of national enthusiasm for this concept. Major progress towards realising NHMRC’s vision was very evident in the eight centres interviewed. It was especially pleasing to see the commitment and enthusiasm of leaders from the local health networks and the remarkable congruence of plans and strategies across the academic and health care partners. Of course, some partnerships shone more than others and NHMRC plans to recognise those which, in our international panel’s expert advice, were at top quality internationally. We learnt much ourselves, with some highly effective and unique models being developed that will definitely accelerate the benefits for patients of active research translation.
The collaboration between top individual organisations – local health networks, universities, institutes, government departments and community was truly encouraging. Most applicants also pointed to the value of adding in primary care networks to the collaborations, once further reform of this area of health care has settled. As we face the need to improve health care and keep costs down by eliminating policies and practices that have no research evidence that they are effective, the leadership on show in these Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres points to a promising future.
Professor Warwick Anderson AM
Chief Executive Officer, NHMRC