FHRI Fund Strategy and Priorities

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 Health regarding whether these Programs and Initiatives should be approved. The Strategy, Priorities and Programs and Initiatives are approved by the Minister for Health. The FHRI Fund governance page provides further details about the roles and responsibilities for developing the Strategy and Priorities.


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. The 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 inaugural FHRI Fund Priorities

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. The Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Act 2012 (the Act) provides that the Priorities will be tabled in both Houses of Parliament and published online.

A process to determine the Priorities for the FHRI Fund is being developed and will be published on the FHRI Fund website once it has been approved. Consultations informing development of the Strategy have also contributed to the inaugural Priorities.


FHRI Fund Programs and Initiatives

Programs and Initiatives are used to direct funding to a specific purpose that contributes to achieving one or more of the Priorities. 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.

Some Programs and Initiatives will call for applications and proposals from the research and innovation sectors. The selection processes used, and the outcomes of these processes, will be transparent and published online. While peer review will be the primary method used to select funding recipients, alternate methods will be used where appropriate.

In general, funding will only be applied through Programs and Initiatives that are open to proposals at the time. However, it is recognised that the research and innovation sectors may identify valuable opportunities that align with the Priorities in place at the time but are not appropriate for application to an open Program or Initiative. Therefore, the FHRI Fund will utilise the State Government’s Market-led Proposals (MLP) Policy and processes to provide a clear, transparent and consistent pathway for consideration of such ‘market-led’ proposals. The Market-led Proposals website (external link) provides a central resource for proponents considering submitting a proposal through the MLP pathway. Proposals submitted directly to the Minister for Health, the Advisory Council, or the Department of Health will not be considered, and proponents will be advised to contact the MLP Secretariat.

Last Updated: 23/10/2020