DtM Attends Gates Grand Challenges Annual Meeting

 Bill Gates speaking at the 2014 Grand Challenges conference in Seattle, joined by Alain Beaudet, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Raj Shah, USAID chief and Melinda Gates. Photo courtesy  Humanosphere .

Bill Gates speaking at the 2014 Grand Challenges conference in Seattle, joined by Alain Beaudet, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Raj Shah, USAID chief and Melinda Gates. Photo courtesy Humanosphere.

This week, Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships Kelly Murphy represented DtM at the Gates Grand Challenges conference by special invitation of The Lemelson Foundation. There was a lot of good news for Design that Matters during the meeting. Bill Gates shared the foundation’s ongoing commitment to fund global health. Specifically, the foundation will continue their Saving Lives at Birth annual grant program for another five years. In addition, Bill Gates indicated the foundation is currently shifting the focus from generating ideas to funding partnerships where members have past experience implementing global health innovations. 

“We were naive about how specific we had to be about costs and ease of delivery,” Gates said. "One of the biggest ‘learnings’ is that just funding scientists and innovators to explore far-fetched but promising ideas is not sufficient," he said. Going forward, Gates told the crowd, they will be requiring most innovators requesting a grant to partner with manufacturers, biomedical companies or others with expertise in product development before they’ll fund a project. “We vastly underestimated how important that is,” Gates said. [Source: Humansophere]

During the meeting, Kelly participated in one-on-one meetings with current and prospective philanthropic partners, as well as implementation partners including Thrive Networks and the MGH Center for Global Health. We continue to build out our network of key partners that are setting Design that Matters up for success.

We thank the Lemelson Foundation for the opportunity to be a part of the Annual Meeting.

About the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Grand Challenges are a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With Warren Buffet’s commitment of $30 billion in 2006, the total $60 billion dollar foundation is arguably the largest philanthropic venture and the leading global health funder worldwide.