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Gates grants

Billionaire's cash challenge intended to provoke new ideas for improving global health.

Diane Martindale(dmartindale@writescience.ca)

Microsoft founder Bill Gates Sunday announced a plan that he hopes will help inspire cures for diseases that kill millions in poor nations. The software mogul told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that his charitable foundation will donate $200 million to help identify and solve "grand challenges in global health" which the private sector has little financial incentive to tackle.

Gates has chosen an international panel of high-profile scientists to draft a list of 10 critical problems whose solution could lead to important healthcare advances for the developing world, such as novel ways to prevent and treat AIDS, developing malaria-resistant mosquitoes, or identifying new vehicles for delivery of micronutrients. The panel is expected to put out their top-10 list sometime this summer along with an invitation to research teams to submit proposals for grants of up to $20 million each.

"While individual submissions will be...

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