The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has selected 78 new charitable initiatives in 18 countries, it announced Monday.
Each of the 78 causes will receive $100,000 in the most recent round of Grand Challenges Explorations. The money, which will fund research projects, will tackle issues such as strategic placement of insect-eating plants to reduce insect-borne diseases, inexpensive cell phone microscopes to diagnose malaria, and the relationship of nano-particles to vaccines.
"Grand Challenges Explorations continues to generate unique and creative ways to tackle global health issues," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program. "We are convinced that some of these ideas will lead to new innovations and eventually solutions that will save lives." The Grand Challenge Exploration is the Gates Foundation’s $100-million effort to improve healthcare around the world.
A major part of the investment will go toward research in vaccines. This research includes sweat-triggered vaccine delivery, a "seek and destroy" laser vaccine, and treating worm infections to improve vaccine effectiveness.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Gates Foundation announcing a $4.5 million fund in order to research planet cooling clouds, reports the Vancouver Sun. The funds will be used by climate researcher David Keith of the University of Calgary and Ken Calder of the Carnegie Institution for Science.
Caldeira told the Sun that the money has gone to different researchers – this includes approximately $300,000 to Armand Neukermanns. Neukermanns, a researcher who is also involved with the Gates Foundation’s Silver Lining Project, is planning to conduct the first cloud brightening project trial the world has ever seen.
"David Keith and I allocated funds to Armand Neukermanns to use laboratory experiments to establish whether it would be technically feasible to produce sea water sprays (in order to cool the atmosphere)," Caldeira told the Vancouver Sun in an interview.