Research and innovation initiatives

Product Development Partnerships

$30 million, 2015- 2018

In March 2015, the Minister for Foreign Affairs announced a contribution of $30 million (over three years) to  Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) to the TB Alliance, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to bring to market new diagnostics, drugs and treatments for malaria and tuberculosis (TB).

The PDPs' global public-private partnerships structure enabled Australia to innovatively pool and leverage funding with other donor governments and philanthropic foundations for research and development in diseases that lack commercial value. Recognising Australia's leading edge in malaria and TB research, the PDPs have been actively engaging our researchers' expertise over the last ten years in the development of advanced diagnostics, drugs and treatments. Collectively, these research activities will lead to new and improved therapies to fight major global disease challenges including drug-resistant variants of the diseases. These new diagnostics and therapies will benefit our region, Indo-Pacific, where malaria and TB are high burden diseases.

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Bloomberg Data for Health

$20 million, 2015- 2017

Australia is contributing AU$20 million to a US$100 million partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies on the Data for Health Initiative. The Initiative is working in more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to build the capacity of governments to collect and use vital health information, enabling them to build better health systems.

Globally, 65 per cent of deaths have no documented cause, and 40 million children are born without a birth certificate. The Data for Health Initiative is improving health information in three ways: improving data on births and deaths; conducting mobile phone surveys on health risk factors; and improving policymakers' use of health data.

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Building international links and Northern Australia’s capacity in tropical research

The Australian Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future sets out the government's policy agenda for the development of northern Australia. Under this initiative, DFAT will fund activities to support collaboration between Australian and international research institutions and countries in the region on tropical health research. Tropical health issues which pose a cross-border threat in Australia's region will be a particular focus.

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Specialist Health Service

The goal of the Specialist Health Service (SHS) is to improve the performance of Australia's international development activities in the health sector, through contributions to health policy, strategic planning and health programming.

The SHS enables all areas of the department, in Canberra and at Post, to quickly source health technical assistance. This service is provided by Abt Associates Pty Ltd.

The SHS  assists DFAT to move beyond the traditional health and aid concepts, with innovative thinking and advice on leveraging investments, building sustainable health institutions and engaging private health actors.

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Last Updated: 9 May 2017