In the US, the Foundation focuses on education. I can’t remember how many times I have posted videos of Mr. Gates in front of Congress asking for a call to arms for education of US citizens, and we still lack and are far behind. In July, Bill Gates spoke in India stating the US got off to a bad start with computers. In May this year he was the leader of the “billionaires” meeting. The Foundation doesn’t wait for donated time on television, they buy it.
You can read more about the US focused programs at the website. These are not huge grants, but sometimes a great project doesn’t need huge amounts of money to get started before it can stand on it’s own. The examples shown below, and several in the US all relate to healthcare, disease, and vaccines. Also worth mentioning, the Foundation no longer plays around with Pharma and Biotech stocks with the exception of one biotech company, somewhat makes a statement I think. BD
“In this audio slideshow, Bill Gates talks about what the foundation's past nine years of focus on education have taught him about creating a “culture of achievement” in schools.”
ARUSHA, Tanzania -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced 76 grants of US$100,000 each to pursue bold ideas for transforming health in developing countries. The grants support researchers in 16 countries with ideas as diverse as a developing an electronic nose to diagnose tuberculosis and using chocolate to help prevent malaria.
“Some of the biggest stumbling blocks in global health are now being overcome with promising new vaccines and treatments,” said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program. “Grand Challenges Explorations will continue to fill the pipeline with possibilities and hopefully produce a breakthrough idea that could save untold numbers of lives.”
In three rounds of the foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, 262 researchers representing 30 countries have been awarded grants.
Grantees from round 3 were selected from almost 3,000 proposals. All levels of scientists are represented – from young post-graduate investigators to veteran researchers – as are a wide range of disciplines, such as chemistry, bioengineering, electronics, mechanical engineering, infectious disease, and epidemiology. They are based at universities, research institutes, nonprofit organizations, and private companies around the world. Examples include:
- Innovative ways to diagnose infectious diseases:
- Andrew Fung of University of California, Los Angeles aims to develop chewing gum that can detect malaria biomarkers in saliva;
- Ranjan Nanda of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology in India will attempt to create a handheld “electronic nose” that gathers and analyzes breath samples to diagnose tuberculosis;
- Udantha Abeyratne of the University of Queensland in Australia will equip mobile phones and mp3 players with microphones to record cough and sleep sounds, which could then be screened to diagnose pneumonia.
- New strategies to fight malaria and mosquitoes:
- Steven Maranz of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York will test the ability of a compound found in chocolate to keep malaria at bay;
- Annette Habluetzel of the University of Camerino in Italy will create a micropellet food which, when activated by the sun, could generate toxins that kill mosquito larvae;
- Peter Lubega Yiga of AdhocWorks Foundation in South Africa will test the efficacy of a fermentation-based household mosquito repellant.
- More effective vaccines:
- Cecil Czerkinsky of the International Vaccine Institute in Korea will explore whether vaccines administered under the tongue can produce strong immune responses in distant organs such as the lungs and reproductive tract;
- Margaret Njoroge of Med Biotech Laboratories in Uganda will develop an intranasal vaccine for mothers, designed to induce antibodies against malaria in breast milk and confer immunity on their babies;
- Kate Edwards, at the University of San Diego will study how a brief bout of exercise may enhance the efficiency of pneumococcal vaccine.