FHRI Fund Strategy

Disbursements from Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund investment income will be guided by a Strategy and Priorities. 

The Advisory Council for the FHRI Fund is responsible for developing Strategies and Priorities (noting that the Advisory Council was not formed in time to develop the inaugural Strategy and Priorities). The Department of Health then develops Programs and Initiatives that contribute to achieving one or more Priority and the Advisory Council provides a recommendation to the Minister for Medical Research regarding whether these Programs and Initiatives should be approved. The Strategy, Priorities and Programs and Initiatives are approved by the Minister. The FHRI Fund governance page provides further details about the roles and responsibilities for developing the Strategy and Priorities. Please see the expandable content at the bottom of this page for definitions of the Strategy, Priorities and Programs and Initiatives. The FHRI Fund Priorities page and FHRI Fund Programs and Initiatives page list the approved Priorities and Programs and Initiatives respectively.

The WA FHRI Fund Strategy 2020–2022: Activating research and innovation

The inaugural FHRI Fund Strategy was developed through extensive research, analysis of national and international best practice, alignment with important reports and other strategies, and substantial stakeholder consultation.

In August 2022, the FHRI Fund Advisory Council resolved to target six Strategy objectives and, with the approval of the Minister for Medical Research, introduced four focus areas:

  • A (Aboriginal, rural and remote health)
  • B (burden of diseases)
  • C (living with COVID-19 and Long-Covid)
  • M (mental health, kept distinct to ensure parity of esteem)

The Strategy on a Page diagram, which can be downloaded below, reflects the above refinements.

Strategy summary diagram


The full Strategy can be downloaded from the link below.

FHRI Fund Strategy cover page


Development of the Strategy

Research, analysis and preliminary consultations were undertaken in 2017 and 2018 to provide a foundation for establishing the FHRI Fund and developing the inaugural Strategy. These activities included:

  • The Deputy Premier’s Health and Medical Research Roundtable (December 2017), which framed the FHRI Fund’s establishment, facilitated discussion about WA’s research environment, and explored plans for research in WA.
  • A Review of research, innovation and commercialisation (2018), which informed development of the Strategy and the governance model for the FHRI Fund. More than 60 consultations contributed to this review.


The findings from the above activities informed two major consultations in 2019, which ultimately set the direction for the Strategy. These consultations consisted of a forum held on 13 May 2019, attended by approximately 150 delegates, and a parallel online consultation which received approximately 120 submissions. The Discussion Paper that helped to frame these consultations is available here.

The consumer voice was an important component of this work. The Health Consumers’ Council of WA conducted interviews with consumers about their views on health and medical research. A video of these interviews can be viewed on the Consumer and Community Involvement page of the FHRI Fund website.

Images from Strategy consultation

The Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Act 2012 (the Act) provides that the Governance Framework will include a requirement for the development of a Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund Strategy and FHRI Fund Priorities and that these must be tabled in Parliament and published online.

The Governance Framework describes the Strategy, Priorities and Programs and Initiatives as follows:

The Strategy provides a high-level vision and goals for research and innovation in WA and forms the basis from which the Priorities are derived. The Advisory Council for the FHRI Fund leads development of the Strategy and the extensive consultations that inform this process. The Advisory Council recommends the Strategy to the Minister for Health for approval.

A Priority is an approach, need or opportunity that has been determined to be critical to achieving the vision of the Strategy that is in place at the time and that aligns with the purpose of the FHRI Fund, as described in the Object of the Act. The Priorities are prepared by the Advisory Council and subsequently provided to the Minister for Health for approval.

A Program or Initiative is a mechanism through which funding is directed to a specific purpose and that contributes to achieving one or more Priority. Programs and Initiatives are approved by the Minister for Health based on a proposal by the Director General of the Department of Health. However, the Act provides that the Minister for Health must seek a recommendation from the Advisory Council and consider the recommendation subsequently received before making, or applying FHRI Account moneys to, Programs and Initiatives in the financial year.

Last Updated: 22/08/2022