In June 2015 two of the most respected research foundations in Western Australia celebrated a major milestone when they joined together in the battle against childhood illness and disease. The BrightSpark Foundation and the Raine Medical Research Foundation each have a long and proud history of supporting medical research in Western Australia but together, through the new Strategic Alliance Agreement, they will achieve so much more.
Since its inception in 1957, through the generous bequest of the Late Mary Raine, the Foundation has made a distinguished contribution to medical research. It has supported scores of project grants, fellowships and scholarships; established two centres of excellence, and supported the internationally acclaimed longitudinal study that carries its name, The Raine Study. Overall, the Raine Medical Research Foundation has contributed more than $36m to-date toward medical research, of which more than $5m has been awarded to clinical scientists specialising in child health research.
Similarly, the BrightSpark Foundation has made an outstanding contribution to child health related research in Western Australia with funding grants and fellowships in excess of $7m. For 40 years BrightSpark has been devoted to encouraging and supporting the State’s brightest young scientists at a critical stage of their research career. Many of these young scientists have gone on to make a major contribution to our knowledge and understanding of childhood illness and disease.
Notwithstanding the excellent achievements of the past, together the new BrightSpark/Raine Alliance will make a major difference in child health research. It will enhance leadership, strengthen and consolidate the overall funding base, offer more opportunities for all child health researchers across Western Australia and, ultimately, and most importantly, facilitate new discoveries and treatments in the battle against childhood sickness.