Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joins partnership to support global health research

Three-year initiative will see $300 million invested

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a week before the agreement was reached. EPA
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered up with the Novo Nordisk Foundation and The Wellcome Trust to accelerate global health equity.

The trio will support the world of science in a bid to tackle global health challenges, it was announced at the Novo Nordisk Foundations’ Global Science Summit in Elsinore, Denmark, on Monday.

Each organisation will commit $100 million over three years, meaning $300 million will be invested overall.

Initial funding will focus on the health effects of climate change, infectious disease and research into the relationship between nutrition and immunity.

“By pooling the vast experience and unique expertise of each organisation – across research, technology, innovation, and enterprise – we can make advances that wouldn’t otherwise be possible,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, chief executive of Novo Nordisk Foundation.

“I am particularly excited about the chance to break down barriers between often isolated areas of work – between cardiometabolic and infectious diseases, or between scientific discovery and delivery of solutions, for example – and support the development of truly innovative solutions that can improve, and save lives.”

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an international enterprise foundation focusing on medical treatment and research, while The Wellcome Trust is a London-based charitable foundation, first established in 1936, focused on health research with links to pharmaceutical magnate Henry Wellcome.

It comes after Saudi Arabia pledged to give $500 million to efforts to help eradicate polio in children around the world.

The pledge was made last week at a World Economic Forum meeting in Riyadh, with the money being donated to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by governments with six partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As part of the agreement, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will open an office in Riyadh.

“We’re on the cusp of so many scientific breakthroughs in agriculture, health, and nutrition, and with the right support these innovations will save and improve lives around the world,” said Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Every sector has a critical role to play, and we hope this collaboration opens the door for other funders and partners to contribute to scaling up existing innovations and developing the tools of tomorrow.”

Updated: May 06, 2024, 8:38 AM