By Bio-IT World Staff
September 25, 2012 | BGI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin immediate collaboration on global health and agricultural development.
“BGI greatly welcomes this opportunity to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bring the benefit of genomics research to our global society,” said Dr. Huanming Yang, Chairman and Co-Founder of BGI. “We are confident that the combination of our respective capabilities, expertise and experience will yield important scientific breakthroughs in the areas of human, plant and animal genomics that will contribute to the advancement of sustainable health and agriculture development, especially in the developing world.”
BGI and the Gates Foundation will collaborate on both a strategic level and a specific project level to meaningfully contribute to the achievement of one or more of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. A management committee will be established that will support identification and implementation of collaborations on global health and agricultural development projects.
Collaboration on specific projects will leverage the Gates Foundation’s agriculture and global health program knowledge and networks with BGI’s sequencing and genomics capabilities to achieve the goal of significantly reducing poverty and/or improving health outcomes in the developing world.
Strategic objectives include identifying a program of work and collaboration across global health and agricultural development and to conduct work together on initial projects with near-term potential to further develop the working relationship between BGI and the Gates Foundation.
The agreement supports the prompt and broad dissemination of information from collaboration projects. It also supports broad access to any technology arising from a project. These technologies will be required to be made available at a reasonable cost to the poor.
"We work closely with partners like BGI to enable breakthroughs in science that will prevent disease and improve agriculture so that farm families can become self-sufficient, reducing hunger and poverty,” said Dr. Trevor Mundel, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.