Gates Foundation scales back ’grand’ plan for global health
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Seven years ago, the Gates Foundation launched an ambitious effort to enlist scientists in solving some of the developing world’s most vexing health problems.
The brightest minds brainstormed priorities. More than 1,500 proposals poured in from researchers around the world – including several Nobel laureates.
The 45 winning ideas were dizzying in their variety: From creating more nutritious bananas to developing vaccines that need no refrigeration and credit-card-sized “labs” to diagnose disease in villages with no electricity.
Nearly $460 million later, the foundation isn’t exactly pulling the plug on the original Grand Challenges in Global Health program. But recession and a sense of urgency have drained much of Gates’ enthusiasm for large, speculative research endeavors.