Innovation

The Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund aims to improve the financial sustainability of the WA health system, the health and wellbeing of Western Australians and the prosperity of the State, and to advance WA to being, or maintaining its position as, a leader in research and innovation.

Health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation can contribute to improving the health of individuals and the wider population, help the health system to be more effective and efficient, while creating jobs and new industries and bringing broader economic benefits to the State.

Both health and medical research and health and medical innovation and commercialisation will contribute to achieving the aims of the FHRI Fund. Therefore, the FHRI Fund has been designed to have two distinct funding streams: one for health and medical research; and one for health and medical innovation and commercialisation. Please refer to the Health and Medical Research page for information about research, including the definition the FHRI Fund uses.

In broad terms, innovation is about identifying, creating and delivering a better way to do something. The FHRI Fund also uses a specific definition for ‘innovation’ that is inclusive of:
  • The application and commercialisation of the outputs of research for the purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of human beings.
  • The development and delivery of new or improved health policies, systems and services and delivery methods that seek to improve people’s health.

The above description of innovation is adapted from the definition used in the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 (Cth) and from the World Health Organization Innovation Group definition.

Research and innovation processes, resources and stakeholders often overlap, giving rise to the concept of a research and innovation ecosystem.

A world-class research and innovation ecosystem is diverse and complex, requiring involvement of consumers, the public and private health systems, primary care, investors, the commercial and academic sectors, as well as multiple state and national government agencies.

In bringing new ideas to market or into practice, innovation requires an environment that has appropriate support for intellectual property identification and protection, commercialisation opportunities and a culture that embraces new ways of doing things.

The FHRI Fund will seek to address the above environmental factors and support innovation and commercialisation opportunities that align to the Fund's objects. For further information about the FHRI Fund's enabling legislation, including the objects of the Act, see the FHRI Fund Act page.

FHRI Fund support for innovation will be strategically targeted to the areas of greatest need and opportunity, tailored to WA’s unique conditions and strengths. In this regard, the FHRI Fund Strategy, Priorities and Programs and Initiatives provide the framework within which funding will be allocated in a transparent manner to achieve defined objectives over the term of these Strategic Instruments. See the FHRI Fund Strategy and Priorities page to learn more.

The responsible management of intellectual property in the WA public health system is supported by the Department of Health’s Research and Innovation Office (formerly the Research Development Unit). Further information about intellectual property management and commercialisation in the WA public health system can be viewed here.

The legislation that enables the FHRI Fund (see here for further information) allows financial or other benefits that result from research and innovation to be given to the State of Western Australia as a result of funding provided to support research and innovation activities. However, this provision will not be applied as default and when it is applied, the benefits of doing so must outweigh any potential disadvantages.

Last Updated: 15/09/2020