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BERLIN, GERMANY, October 16, 2018 – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that it has opened a new European office in Berlin, its second in Europe following the establishment of its London office in 2010. The Berlin office will allow the foundation to deepen its partnerships with the German government and other institutions across the continent working on global health and development challenges.
The announcement of the opening of the Gates Foundation’s Berlin office coincides with today’s joint plenary session of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting and World Health Summit. This session will seek to make the case for greater innovation to address the health and development barriers still facing the world’s poorest people. Speakers at the joint plenary, Innovation to Address Global Health and Development: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, will include Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives funded by the Gates Foundation, amongst others, that seeks to incentivize the best and brightest minds in science and research to find solutions to pressing problems facing people in the developing world.
Dr. Anja Langenbucher, Europe Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will lead the new Berlin-based office. Dr. Langenbucher said: “Berlin has become a hub for policy makers, civil society and researchers from all over the world that engage in global development. By establishing an office here, we hope to grow the Gates Foundation’s network across Germany and continental Europe. We look forward to bringing more health and development expertise to governments and other organizations working on these important issues, and to partnering with them on programs that will help make life better for the world’s poorest people.”
In addition, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the African Academy of Sciences and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced today a joint Grand Challenges Partnership. The new partnership will strengthen scientific cooperation between Germany and African countries, supporting African investigators to pursue scientific innovations in maternal, neonatal and child health.
Germany is currently the world’s second largest donor to international health and development programmes. The Gates Foundation has been extending and diversifying its cooperation with both the Federal Government and civil society over many years. In 2017, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Gates Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding, seeking to strengthen their collaboration on multilateral and bilateral projects under the overarching objective of significantly reducing poverty and transforming the lives of those most in need.
Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “We are excited to deepen our partnerships in Europe as we pursue our mission to give everyone the chance to lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Europe continues to show strong commitment to reducing global inequity, and our new Berlin office will allow us to tap into Germany’s thriving life sciences sector and its growing role as a global health and development hub to help meet the challenges faced by the world’s poorest people.”
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
Founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2003, the Grand Challenges initiative seeks to incentivise the best and brightest minds to find solutions to the most pressing problems facing people in the developing world. Grand Challenges partners have invested more than $1 billion into more than 2,300 innovations from 91 countries to, among others, create and improve vaccines, combat drug resistance, and improve the nutritional value and resilience of crops.
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