China / Society

Beijing to host next year's Grand Challenges event

By Shan Juan in Seattle (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-13 07:21

China will host the Grand Challenges annual meeting next year in Beijing.

The Grand Challenges initiative was set up by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to translate scientific innovations into tools on the ground to help the world's poor.

Wu Feiming, deputy director of the China Rural Technology Development Center under China's Ministry of Science and Technology, extended the invitation to host next year's event on the final day of the GC 10th anniversary meeting in Seattle on Thursday.

More than 1,000 representatives, mostly scientists, from 47 countries attended the four-day meeting.

"China has always attached great importance to scientific innovations, and we hope the partnership with the Gates Foundation and the coming meeting, which itself is an innovative breakthrough, can further facilitate China's science and technology to benefit other developing countries as well," Wu said.

Ray Yip, chief China representative of the Gates Foundation, said the annual GC meeting would bring together hundreds of researchers, funding organizations and policymakers committed to transformational change to discuss progress and collaborate on solutions.

GC is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems for the world's poor. As of this year, more than 1,600 GC grants have been made to science and technology innovators in 80 countries.

"China's capacity in scientific research and development can not only benefit the nation itself but also the world, especially the developing countries," Yip said.

"China will play an even more important role in the global response to the most pressing health and development challenges through science and technology innovations," he said.

In 2011, China's Ministry of Science and Technology signed a strategic cooperation memorandum with the Gates Foundation to promote agricultural development, relieve poverty and promote health causes worldwide via technology.

To date, China and the foundation have launched two pilot projects and cooperated in seven fields, including crop breeding and TB drugs.

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