$29m breakthrough to combat COVID

New technology which could be “immediately applied to managing coronavirus” has been given a $29m federal government incentive to be produced onshore.

New technology that can be “immediately applied to managing COVID-19” will be developed in Australia as part of a $100m outlay from the federal government.

Three projects have been selected via the government’s Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative, which it said allowed researchers to “explore the most bold and exciting” ideas in medicine.

An Australian Lung Health Initiative has been granted $29m to focus on what the government termed “revolutionary” lung scanners, which could be “immediately applied to managing COVID-19”.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the development would put Australia at “the forefront” of lung science and “kickstart” the industry.

“These projects have the potential to transform outcomes for people living with these diseases, generate massive economic benefits and create thousands of jobs,” he said.

The two other projects would help improve the diagnosis of stroke and epilepsy, Mr Hunt said.

That would include lightweight brain scanners allowing ambulance officers to rapidly diagnose and treat stroke victims, developed via the Stroke Golden Hour.

Mr Hunt said all three projects, which were selected from group of 10 applications, showed “remarkable promise”.

“Our government is extremely impressed by the calibre of all the projects and their potential to assist people with many serious health issues, while also growing our innovation economy,” he said.

The funding will meted out over five years.

The government said it had allocated a total of $570m to the Frontiers program over a decade, beginning in 2019-20.

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