2015 Conference

The National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation’s inaugural conference ‘Putting Rubber on the Road’was launched by Mr Paul Clitheroe who referenced this adage and the opportunity for philanthropy to help innovations gain traction. The Conference was held on the 9th and 10th of September 2015 at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


The event was attended by a national audience over both days. We wish to thank all attendees, speakers and those who have contributed to the event’s success. In particular, we are grateful for the support received from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Conference Partner) and Celgene Ltd. (Conference Supporter). 

Conference photos

Conference Photos 2

Putting Rubber on the Road’ explored four themes to build a system wide understanding of opportunities and challenges of delivering impact from biomedical research. Some presentations and recordings are available below. 

Theme 1 – Biomedical research: Australia’s current state of play (9 September)

Panels and presentations under this theme set the scene and aimed to provide a current overview biomedical research in Australia, including our global innovation position, funding mechanisms and models.

‘Advancing Australia’s global innovation position’

Professor Peter Rathjen, Vice Chancellor, The University of Tasmania


‘Supporting biomedical research projects: where are we now and where are we headed?’

Panel chaired by Mr Keith Drewery


Theme 2 – Filling the innovation pipeline (9 September)

This theme explored how improvements in policy and support could help deliver impact from biomedical innovations. It will also highlighted the challenges and opportunities to fill the innovation pipeline.


Theme 3 – Why collaborations lead to better biomedical investments (10 September)

We explored the role collaborations and partnerships play in advancing innovation, and explore how these can take place with global stakeholders, industry and government.

‘When universities get it right: the virtues of being fully engaged’

Professor Mark Dodgson, The University of Queensland

Download presentation  


‘Valuing Australian biomedical innovations: perspectives matter’

Lara Verdian, Associate Director Health Economics and Social Policy, Deloitte Access Economics

Download presentation


Theme 4 – Social and commercial investments in biomedical research (10 September)

This theme demonstrated the importance industry and venture capital play in translation and commercialisation. We also explored how philanthropists can make a difference through private and social investments.


Supporting biomedical research and innovations

This presentation provides some background to the conference. It outlines support for biomedical innovations and the need to enable collaborations to help put rubber on the road. 

Our 2015 program is available for download below.

Conference Program

Download Conference Program  

NFMRI wishes to thank our Conference Partner, NSW Department of Primary Industries, and our Conference Supporter, Celgene for their support and assistance. We also thank both speakers and delegates who helped make this conference a success.