Research and innovation initiatives

Product Development Partnerships

$30 million, 2015- 2018

The Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security opened a call for proposals from eligible PDPs on 9 October 2017. The  Product Development Partnership Fund will support the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for TB and malaria and/or vector control tools for malaria and other high-burden, mosquito-borne diseases. It will fund up to four PDPs at $10 - $15 million per proposal. Australia's initial commitment will cover a three-year period (2018-2020), with the possibility of a further two years' funding based on performance. Closing date for submission of proposals is 15 December 2017.

This builds on the success of an announcement in March 2015 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to provide 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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Stronger Systems for Health Security research program

  • The Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security opened the Stronger Systems for Health Security call for research on 9 October 2017, inviting proposals from Australian researchers and institutions in partnership with those in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. To contribute to improved health security in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, up to $16 million will be allocated over three years (2017-18 to 2019-2020) to high‑quality, collaborative, health systems and policy research with a particular focus on Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
  • This research call is being managed by DFAT through a partnership between the Centre for Health Security and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • Health systems in the Indo-Pacific are confronting multiple and increasing global and local challenges, including infectious disease outbreaks, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, rapid population growth and urbanisation. Health systems have never needed to be more resilient.
  • Policy makers and practitioners need to have easy access to information about interventions that work and what is already known about what may be feasible, practical and culturally acceptable in a given context. We need better evidence on the contribution of health systems to strengthened health security if we are to understand and address the policy, political and organisational constraints to effective action. Australian research institutions, working with their counterparts in the region, are particularly well placed to respond to this challenge.

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 is funding 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 are a particular focus.

One research project was selected for funding by DFAT through a competitive process. It will contribute to boosting capability, and the evidence base needed, to strengthen health security in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The Menzies School of Health Research is advancing research collaboration in the prevention and containment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria. Menzies is working with the Burnet Institute and government, civil society and university partners in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia. This research is funded by DFAT to the value of $2 million under the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future and is one of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security’s portfolio of investments.

Health Security Initiative for the Indo Pacific region

Through this Initiative, James Cook University is working to enhance surveillance and health systems responses to infectious diseases threats through collaborative research and workforce capacity building in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. This research is funded to the value of $1.8 million under theIndo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.

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Bloomberg Data for Health

$24 million, 2015- 2019

Australia is contributing AU$24 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.

Related documents *

Name of document Year published Type

Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health: Mid-term review executive summary



Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health: Solomon Islands country case study


Case study

Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health: Republic of the Philippines country case study


Case study

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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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* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 23 October 2017