MTPConnect and the Minister for Health & Aged Care, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, today announced that the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative for diabetes and cardiovascular disease is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for two new Research Centres and the first round of Research Projects funding.

The TTRA, a Medical Research Future Fund initiative delivered by MTPConnect in partnership with UniQuest, ANDHealth and the Medical Device Partnering Program, is rolling out a new funding opportunity from today to improve the prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their related complications.

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said the funding opportunities signal a new approach to boosting the translation and commercialisation of Australian research into diabetes and cardiovascular disease, leading causes of death and disability in Australia.

“This is a substantial and targeted injection of funding which will support whole-of-sector coordination to maximise the development and translation of specific, highly promising research projects,” Dr Grant said.

“To stimulate collaboration across industry, research and clinical organisations we’re allocating $20 million to support the establishment of two new Research Centres; one focused on diabetes-associated complications and the other on cardiovascular disease-associated complications and each funded for up to $10 million over four years.

“In a parallel program, we’re making available $18 million to support translational Research Projects that have the potential to transform diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes and reduce the burden of disease on patients, families and the community – with up to $6 million available in this first round.

“We’ll support eligible organisations seeking $200,000-$750,000 for up to 24 months who provide an in-kind contribution to the value of 50% of the funding requested to develop innovative preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic and disease management products and solutions for identified priorities associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“A number of priorities for both programs have been identified following deep consultation with the sector and focus on the complications associated with both diseases and unmet needs.

“A distinguishing feature of the TTRA is the emphasis on translation with our program partners – ANDHealth, Medical Device Partnering Program and UniQuest – providing mentoring and commercialisation advice to applicants and those receiving funding,” Dr Grant said.

TTRA Expert Advisory Board Chair, Professor Ian Frazer AC FRS, explained why these new research funding opportunities are essential in improving outcomes for those living with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their related complications are significant chronic health conditions, not only in Australia, but globally with substantial unmet need,” he said.

“Through investment in projects as well as the establishment of two unique Research Centres in Australia, MTPConnect’s TTRA Program will support and accelerate the translation of innovative preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and products towards clinical impact and to those who need it most,” Professor Frazer said.

Priority Areas
The Diabetes Research Centre’s translational research, development and implementation science activities will address the following Priority Areas:

  • Priority 1: Diabetic kidney disease;
  • Priority 2: Peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot syndrome;
  • Priority 3: Short-term complications of hypoglycaemia and/or hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) and ketoacidosis.

The Cardiovascular Disease Research Centre’s translational research, development and implementation science activities will address the following Priority Areas:

  • Priority 1: Coronary artery disease (including angina and MACE);
  • Priority 2: Cardiomyopathy / heart failure;
  • Priority 3: Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) / stroke (ischaemic and haemorrhagic).

Submissions for Research Centres funding close at 16:00 AEDT Monday 15 March 2021.

The TTRA Research Projects must develop innovative preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic and/or disease management products/solutions to address one of the following Priority Areas:

  • Priority 1: Mental health conditions in people living with at least two of the following: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease; or
  • Priority 2: Chronic kidney disease in people living with at least two of the following: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease; or
  • Priority 3: Cardiac and vascular complications arising in people living with diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) and cardiovascular disease; OR Cardiovascular disease in people living with Type 1 diabetes and insulin resistance (double diabetes).

Submissions for the first round of Research Projects closes on 16:00 AEDT Monday 22 February 2021.

Information Sessions via webinar are scheduled for mid-January.

  • TTRA Research Centres Information Session: 20 January 2021 – Register here.
  • TTRA Research Projects Information Session: 19 January 2021 – Register here.

Guidelines and application information are available on the TTRA webpage.