Our aim is to ensure research is embedded in the health system to deliver impact and we do this by mobilising leadership and collaboration to strengthen research translation.
Our activities to deliver this include –
- Embedding research in health systems
- Orienting research around impact
- Measuring and communicating impact
- Supporting increased funding opportunities.
Collaboration is the underlying principle for everything that is undertaken at HTSA and must be the principle that drives research endeavours.
It is often very difficult to achieve meaningful collaboration in an environment where partners are competing for funding, status and students and where even within partner organisations, there are competing departments striving for recognition, control or power.
The key is leadership and incentives to support and drive collaboration. Traditional metrics must be complemented by new metrics that measure the value of collaboration. HTSA is well positioned with the SA research, academic and health service delivery sectors to provide the leadership, coordination and collaboration required to progress impactful research within the state.
The purpose of the Forum is to provide an engagement mechanism for key health and research sector stakeholders; to inform and contribute to priority setting, projects, enabling platforms, workforce development and advocacy activities of Health Translation SA.
The Forum is advisory to the Board of Partners and takes direction from the Board of Partners for the state-wide priority setting process.
Membership is open to any individual, organisation, sector or community that has a ‘stake’ in enhancing the rate of translation of research into healthcare to create a self-improving, sustainable and high-quality health system. This includes consumer groups, non-government organisations including condition specific foundations and research groups that are not formal partners in the Centre.
Last year, 45 people attended our Stakeholder Forum held in the SAHMRI Auditorium on 6 November 2019. A summary of the Forum is provided in a report here.
Wendy Keech, CEO of HTSA, facilitated a session at the Forum focussing on research translation funding opportunities, particularly through the Medical Research Future Fund. She highlighted the MRFF requirements which include partnerships, collaboration, leverage and co-investment, together with the burden of disease and unmet need. This means that stakeholders have an important role in the design and development of research translation projects.
Given the requirement to strengthen stakeholder involvement in research proposals, the interactive session aimed to explore how HTSA can support stakeholders to be more engaged in the work of HTSA and ensure that the areas of research translation most important to them are prioritised and progressed in SA.
Attendees told us that they have organisational research priorities, established links with the research community, important data and valuable expertise, particularly in community engagement, that could be very beneficial to research efforts in SA.
HTSA wants to facilitate the connections between stakeholders and the research community so we are keen to gain a better understanding of our stakeholder community so we are developing a survey which will be circulated to our stakeholders in early 2020.
SA Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Working Group
A key requirement of the MRFF is strategic and priority driven research (not investigator driven) for direct health and economic outcomes coupled with a focus on partnerships, collaboration, leverage and coinvestment, together with burden of disease and unmet need.
To achieve MRFF funding success South Australia needs to fundamentally change its research approach by working more closely with health services and the community to determine the greatest healthcare challenges and form partnerships across organisations, industries, sectors and disciplines.
In May 2019 HTSA invited our Partners and other key stakeholders, such as the Office of the Chief Scientist, to join a working group to strengthen and position South Australia to maximise MRFF grant funding success. By bringing together the key organisations that are responsible for driving health and medical research in SA , that is SAHMRI, the three universities, SA Health and the Department of Innovation and Skills, we are exploring ways to leverage the strengths of the state through collaboration to deliver research that meets the needs of health services and the community and to successfully compete for MRFF funding.
Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA)
At a national level, Health Translation SA also works with the six other Advanced Health Research Translation Centres and two Centres for Innovation in Regional Health accredited by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Together they comprise the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA). The other Centres are:
Through the Alliance these centres work together on 4 national systems projects:
- Health Systems Improvement
- Data Driven Healthcare Improvement
- Consumer Engagement
- Aboriginal Researcher Capacity Building
HTSA in action
Read our Case study on Mobilising Leadership and Collaboration to Strengthen Research Translation below