The Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) Story

Boosting Dementia Research Initiative

Recognising the importance of research, the Australian Government invested $200 million over five years from 2014 to 2019 to the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative (BDRI) to accelerate research, enhance collaboration and promote advances in dementia research and treatment. BDRI consisted of two main elements:

  • Establishment of a National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR)
    The NNIDR was established in 2015 to target and coordinate the $200 million national dementia research effort through BDRI. It was delivered by Dementia Australia through a services agreement with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The NNIDR closed on 30 June 2020, having fulfilled its remit to oversee the strategic expansion of dementia research under the BDRI.
  • Competitive grant funding program
    The BDRI Grant Program consisted of eleven competitive funding rounds run from 2014 to 2019, and supported dementia research fellowships, team grants, international collaborations, priority rounds and the establishment of a national dementia network. In addition, $9 million was awarded in 2014 to the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research to support research focus on prevention and treatment.

The Australian Dementia Network

From the $200 million BDRI investment, $18 million was awarded in 2018 to establish the Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) in recognition of the need to address research fragmentation and bring together Australia’s leading researchers, clinicians and consumers to create a powerful network for dementia prevention, treatment, and care.  The network also received a further $2 million from philanthropic donors.

The network aims to:

  • bring together Australia’s leading dementia researchers and clinicians in a collective effort to prevent or effectively treat dementia.
  • foster strong linkages with consumers, community groups, service providers, charities, and industry bodies.
  • improve care, expand access to specialist services and advanced diagnostic methods, and speed the development of effective therapies and disease prevention strategies for all Australians.

Since its inception, ADNeT has built a unique dementia community that draws together the expertise of researchers in 17 partner universities and research institutions across Australia in pursuit of three principal initiatives:

Clinical Quality Registry (CQR)
The primary objective of ADNeT CQR is to collect data to monitor and enhance the quality of care and patient outcomes for people diagnosed with either dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A secondary aim is to facilitate the recruitment of participants into dementia research and trials.

Memory Clinics
A collaborative network of clinicians has been established under this initiative to provide a framework for the operations of participating memory clinics across Australia. It also seeks to harmonise diagnostic and post-diagnostic support pathways to ensure that all Australians have access to high-quality dementia assessments.

Screening for Trials
Through close collaboration with international industry partners, this initiative seeks to accelerate the development of effective therapies to prevent or treat dementia, as well as to provide more Australians with access to the latest potential therapies through participation in clinical trials.