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Public-private partnerships needed to tackle big issues - EU Commissioner tells Gates

Bill Gates speaking about the European investments in global health and development that are saving lives in Paris last year at a Living Proof campaign event. Photo: Gates Foundation/Flickr.Collaboration between public and private initiatives is central to the fight against disease and poverty, Bill Gates was told by a European Commissioner.

Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met with the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Brussels last week to discuss research work and the foundation’s funding of EU projects.

One area of cooperation has been through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

The commissioner said these projects are working towards important breakthroughs on treatment and prevention of diseases including tuberculosis and malaria as well as AIDS.

Only through collective efforts can we effectively tackle the really big issues affecting the world's most vulnerable, and respond to current and emerging research needs and priorities. Partnerships across regions and public-private initiatives are the way forward,” Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said.

University College Dublin is collaborating with eight African research sites and other universities to run clinical trials into therapy for HIV patients through the EDCTP.

Mr Gates also met with the European Commissioner for Development, Mr Andris Piebalgs. Following this meeting he said the goals of private philanthropy often fit well with those of state organisations.

“My full time work at the Gates foundation focuses on many of the same development issues that the European development work focuses on. So we have a lot of goals in common,” he said.

The Gates foundation has provided €14.1 in funding to the EDCTP. According to a spokesman, just over two million of this has been spent on developing drugs to provide shorter treatment times for TB in African countries and over five million spent on malaria prevention in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

See also:

USD800m public-private initiative against neglected tropical diseases launched

Emerging nations 'should work with donors on hunger'

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