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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Gates Foundation and MiSK launch joint initiative to encourage innovation

People from all over the world can take part in the initiative

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 14, 2017. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 14, 2017. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Reuters

The Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Philanthropic Foundation (MiSK) in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will launch a $10 million initiative to encourage innovators to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues.

Bader Al Asaker, secretary general of MiSK, said that tackling global issues demands global partnerships.

“This collaboration is an important and essential initiative for the MiSK Foundation,” he said. “MiSK Grand Challenges will directly empower young people by providing them with the research grants necessary to give them the chance to innovate new solutions.

“A positive future can be shaped by the next generation, and MiSK Grand Challenges will act as a vital catalyst in this process.”

MiSK will, over the next three years, announce a series of challenges, in which people from all over the world can take part.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the innovation has the power to transform lives of the world’s poorest and more marginalised people.

“MiSK Grand Challenges will incentivise more of the brightest minds around the world to find the best ideas to solve some of the toughest development challenges,” he said.

The first two challenges were announced on Tuesday at the MiSK Global Forum. The first is on school leadership and ways to transform teaching, and the second is on ways to engage young people to address the UN’s goals for sustainable development.

One hundred participants will receive $100,000 in seed funding to prove their concepts, after which the best projects can apply for further funding.

On Tuesday, Mr Gates met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss joint development programmes and projects, reported the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.