A new report examining the social return on business investment in Hunter-based health research shows there can be a significant benefit to both researchers and the community.
The Greater Building Society commissioned an analysis of the social return on investment (SROI) of the funding it and the Greater Charitable Foundation provided to Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) for two Stroke research projects.
The analysis showed that for one project the SROI was 6.63 and for another it was 2.30.
For every dollar the $240,000 (between 2009 and 2012) received from The Greater for the project titled “Improving Patient Selection for Effective Stroke Treatment” a return of $6.63 was obtained in the generation of additional research grants and better patient outcomes (cost avoided in treating stroke patients). In addition, the research assisted patient selection for a pilot on the effectiveness of a newer anti-thrombolytic drug: Tenecteplase.
For every dollar of $180,000 (between 2006 and 2009) received from The Greater for the project titled “Keeping Brain Cells Alive After Stroke” a return of $2.30 was obtained in the generation of additional research grants. In addition, the support contributed to the likelihood of identifying treatments or pathways to delay brain cell death. To delay brain cell death will give better prognosis for patients after receiving stroke therapies and improve post-stroke recovery.
Greater Building Society CEO Don Magin said businesses sensibly look to maximise their return on investment in their people, assets and other expenditure.
He said that the report was good news for charity and research groups who need to demonstrate to business that there is value in funding or sponsoring them.
“It can be difficult to determine or agree on measures,” Don said. “At The Greater, we would argue that sometimes it is important that business just gives back to the local community from which it derives its profits.
“There is benefit from looking at the social return on an investment in a charity or group not just a strict return to a business or its profits.”
“A stronger, healthier community is a great place to do business.”
“Business investment in research can attract researchers to the region and help attract additional research funding from within and outside the region.”
The research projects funded by The Greater were led by Dr Neil Spratt. The funding helped to attract Dr Spratt and his family to relocate to the Hunter region. Another benefit to the funding is that Dr Spratt is also clinician who provides care to local Stroke patients.
The SROI analysis was undertaken by HMRI health economist Associate Professor Andrew Searles and colleagues Professor Chris Doran and Kim Edmunds, along with Dr Rod Ling from the University of Newcastle.
The Greater Building Society is an inaugural supporter of HMRI. It initially funded the ground-breaking work of Associate Professor Darren Shafren's demonstration of the effectiveness of a common cold virus (Coxsackievirus A21) as a treatment to kill melanoma cells.
Funding of HMRI transferred to the Greater Charitable Foundation when it was established in 2011. Together the organisations have provided HMRI with more than $1.3 million in support.