Research and Development

A nationally coordinated effort in research and development is required to address evidence gaps in the blood sector, and to enable responses to emerging evidence and new technologies.

Under the National Blood Agreement the National Blood Authority (NBA) is charged ‘…to facilitate and fund appropriate research, policy development or other action in relation to new developments by relevant government or non-government persons or bodies.’

Research and Development Strategic Priorities

The NBA has worked with stakeholders to identify the National Blood Research and Development Strategic Priorities 2013-16. The purpose of the publication is to provide a useful resource to guide priority setting for research. It may be used by researchers to support funding requests, including from the National Health and Medical Research Council, by identifying that their research aligns with priorities communicated by governments.

National Blood Sector Research and Development Pilot

In September 2015 the NBA received approval from funding governments to implement a Pilot for funding of research and development activities in the blood sector.

The Pilot will fund a limited number of projects or activities which are assessed as likely to produce valuable research outcomes in identified key priority areas.  In addition, information gathered from the Pilot will be used to inform consideration by governments of the viability and potential value of further blood sector specific research and development funding.

The Pilot will be targeted at the following topics, where the priority for research has been identified by pre-existing strategic programs of the NBA and governments in the blood sector:

  • patient blood management evidence gaps, as identified in each module of the PBM Guidelines
  • efficient and effective use of immunoglobulin products, as highlighted through the Ig Governance Program

The overarching objectives are to identify and support strategic priority areas appropriate for targeted blood sector research funding that will:

  • enhance the sustainability and affordability of the national supply of blood products, including through increased efficiency and reduced blood product usage and wastage
  • identify appropriate use and reduce inappropriate use of blood products
  • maintain or enhance clinical outcomes for patients

​by providing evidence or new knowledge to:

  • understand the biological action of blood products
  • identify optimum treatment, dosing or indications for use for blood products, and
  • compare the use of blood products with alternative strategies and treatments.

The Pilot will comprise two funding rounds, commencing from 1 July 2016 and 1 July 2017.  A call for proposals for each round will be conducted in early 2016 and 2017, respectively, and funding may be available for up to three years in each round.  Projects of various types and duration will potentially be considered in the process.

Broadly, proposals were assessed against criteria under the following headings:

  • scope, focus and potential research value
  • quality
  • governance and ethics
  • efficient and effective use of funds.

Results of Round 1

The NBA was impressed with the number and quality of submissions for Round 1. The NBA’s new grant assessment process ran smoothly and has provided important information to support improvements for Round 2.  The NBA was grateful to have received high quality input from clinical, research and government experts who participated in the review process and assisted the NBA in determining the mix of projects to be funded within the limited pilot budget.  The NBA is confident that the funded research will provide significant inroads towards achievement of the blood sector’s research outcomes. An overview of the successful applications is presented below:

PBM Project Grants

Principal Chief Investigator

Administering Institution

Amount

Scientific Project Title

Professor Jane Ford The University of Sydney $146,300 Determination of 1) the haemoglobin (Hb) and ferritin levels during pregnancy associated with adverse
outcomes and 2) transfusion effects on patient-centred outcomes.
Dr James Winearls The University of Queensland $172,977 FEISTY: Fibrinogen Early In Severe Trauma study. Fibrinogen Concentrate vs Cryoprecipitate in Traumatic
Haemorrhage: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Study

PBM Seed Grants

Principal Chief Investigator

Administering Institution

Amount

Scientific Project Title

Mr Geoff Simon University of Sunshine Coast $49,820 For geriatric patients presenting to the Emergency Department, how much blood is used; why is blood used
and can we reduce red cell use and improve outcomes?
Dr Deborah Long Griffith University $49,162 Evaluation of a closed loop-blood sampling system in critically ill children undergoing cardiac surgery: a pilot randomised controlled trial.

PBM Early Career Research Grant (Scholarship)

Early Career Researcher

Administering Institution

Amount

Scientific Project Title

Dr Julie Lee The University of Queensland $30,000 ROTEM® thromboelastometry in obstetrics

Ig Project Grants

Principal Chief Investigator

Administering Institution

Amount

Scientific Project Title

Professor David Burgner Murdoch Childrens Research Institute $246,645 A national study of Kawasaki Disease epidemiology and management: a combined retrospective and prospective study of incidence and immunoglobulin resource utilisation to guide appropriate cost-effective  management.
Associate Professor Erica Woods Monash University $394,958 The RATIONAL project: A feasibility trial of the role of  prophylactic antibiotics or intravenous immunoglobulin to prevent infections in patients with haematologic malignancies to inform a phase III randomised controlled study, and supported by a systematic review and survey of ‘real world’ current Australasian and international practice.

Ig Seed Grants

Principal Chief Investigator

Administering Institution

Amount

Scientific Project Title

Professor Russell Dale The University of Sydney $46,216 Intravenous immunoglobulin in paediatric neurology: safety, adherence to guidelines and long-term outcome

Frequently asked questions

FAQ's  (134.76 KB)(pdf)

FAQ's (858.38 KB) (docx)

More information?  Email R&D [at] blood.gov.au If you wish to be notified of R&D pilot grant rounds please subscribe to the NBA’s News feed or register your interest at R&D [at] blood.gov.au.