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– Goal to significantly reduce poverty and/or improve health outcomes in the developing world –
Seattle, WA and Shenzhen, China September 25, 2012 – BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, announced today that it and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a collaboration on global health and agricultural development with the goal of achieving common objectives in health and agricultural development, and meaningfully contributing to the achievement of one or more of the Millennium Development Goals. The signing ceremony, attended by Dr. Jian Wang, Director and Co-founder of BGI, Dr. Jun Wang, Executive Director, BGI, and Bill Gates of the Gates Foundation, was conducted yesterday outside of Seattle, Washington.
Pursuant to the MOU, BGI and the Gates Foundation will collaborate on both a strategic level and a specific project level. Collaboration on specific projects will leverage the Gates Foundation’s agriculture and global health program knowledge and networks with BGI’s sequencing and genomics capabilities to achieve the goal of significantly reducing poverty and/or improving health outcomes in the developing world. Strategic objectives include identifying a program of work and collaboration across global health and agricultural development and to conduct work together on initial projects with near-term potential to further develop the working relationship between BGI and the Gates Foundation.
The agreement supports the prompt and broad dissemination of information from collaboration projects. It also supports broad access to any technology arising from a project. These technologies will be required to be made available at a reasonable cost to the poor.
“BGI greatly welcomes this opportunity to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bring the benefit of genomics research to our global society,” stated Dr. Huanming Yang, Chairman and Co-Founder of BGI. “We are confident that the combination of our respective capabilities, expertise and experience will yield important scientific breakthroughs in the areas of human, plant and animal genomics that will contribute to the advancement of sustainable health and agriculture development, especially in the developing world.”
“Having contributed to the Human Genome Project as well as sequencing the genomes of many critical plant and animal species and human diseases, including the initial sequencing of the rice genome as well as our involvement in the Rice 10,000 Genome Project, the 1,000 Plants and Animals Genome Project, the International 1,000 genomes project, the 1,000 Rare Diseases Project, the International Cancer Genome Project, Autism Genome 10K, among others, BGI looks forward to partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in this significant collaboration to apply genomics research to benefit global human health,” stated Dr. Jian Wang.
"We work closely with partners like BGI to enable breakthroughs in science that will prevent disease and improve agriculture so that farm families can become self-sufficient, reducing hunger and poverty,” said Dr. Trevor Mundel, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This partnership will be operationalized immediately, with the establishment of a management committee that will support identification and implementation of collaborations on global health and agricultural development projects.
Joyce Peng, Ph.D.
BGI Americas Corporation
Bicheng Yang, Ph.D.
Public Communication Officer