Maximising efficiencies, collaboration and sharing of resources between cancer charities
In an Australian first, seven of the country's leading cancer charities have joined forces to form the Cancer Research Leadership Forum. The Cancer Research Leadership Forum was officially launched in Sydney on World Cancer Day (Friday 4 February 2011), at the Garvan Institute in Darlinghurst.
The formation of this group is a significant step forward for the often fragmented Australian not-for-profit sector as the Cancer Research Leadership Forum aims to maximise efficiencies, collaboration and the sharing of resources between cancer charities.
The Cancer Research Leadership Forum consists of Bowel Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Australia, Cure Cancer Australia, Leukaemia Foundation, Melanoma Institute, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia.
With funding provided by the Macquarie Group Foundation, the Cancer Research Leadership Forum will work together to develop a national cancer research plan and consider opportunities for co-funded research amongst the group.
The Cancer Research Leadership Forum will also advocate for increased research funding from the government and educate consumers about the importance of ongoing cancer research.
It is estimated that within the next 30 years, 27 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and 70% of these will be in the developing world. In addition to an enormous health burden, this increase in diagnoses will also create huge economic challenges.
The Cancer Research Leadership Forum has been formed in response to an urgent need to accelerate research that will deliver new knowledge on which to base future cancer control programs, both in Australia and around the world.
In February 2012, the CLRF released a Towards a National Cancer Research Plan white paper, created to drive development of an overarching national cancer research plan for Australia to coordinate investment in research and accelerate progress in cancer control.
Almost $300 million dollars was awarded to Australian cancer research projects by a multiplicity of funders from the public, private and community sectors. In 2014 the lack of a coordinated framework in the shape of a national cancer research plan has resulted in inefficiencies, duplication and gaps in funding.
Evidence from the US, Canada and the UK demonstrates a strategic approach to coordinating and collaboratively funding cancer research can be achieved. This would significantly enhance the impact of Australia's collective investment, producing greater improvements in cancer prevention and outcomes.
Download the White Paper - Towards a National Cancer Research Plan.
In September 2012, CRLF convened National Cancer Research Summit. This was the second stage of development of a National Cancer Research Plan for the community sector.
Following on from the National Cancer Research Summit the CRLF developed Maximising the impact of cancer research funding in Australia: A national resource to guide research investment and improve cancer outcomes to encourage and support better planning and coordination of research funding in Australia. It will be available to all funders across the sector in the hope that it may encourage new co-funding partnerships, synergies, and strategies to nurture Australia's cancer research strengths, address priorities and accelerate progress in cancer control.
The recommendations were:
- Enhance collaboration between research funding organisations;
- Develop novel funding approaches, mechanisms and criteria;
- Identify and fund research priorities and gaps;
- Establish and maintain research infrastructure;
- Support and build the research workforce;
- Engage consumers and other stakeholders in research planning and funding.
Download a copy of the report - Maximising the impact of cancer research funding in Australia 2013