In this new series, GOBEL will be highlighting recent transformational generosity seen around the globe. In today’s post, $10M+ USD gifts from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and Oceania are highlighted.
Partners In Health established a $200M scholarship fund that will support University of Global Health Equity students in Rwanda for more than two decades, launched by a transformative $50M gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was announced on September 19 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The scholarship fund is dedicated entirely to students attending UGHE in Rwanda. The fund, structured as an annuity, will cover the tuition, room, board, and expenses of 3,000 medical students and global health delivery master’s degree candidates over the next 25 years. The Gates Foundation is joined by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Child Relief International Foundation, and other philanthropists as early investors in the fund. Named after the late Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners In Health’s (PIH) co-founder and chief strategist, the scholarship is dedicated to an initiative he cherished.
Chen Tianqio, via the Tianquio & Chrissy Chen Institute, announced a $100M investment in AI and brain science, through a Shanghai-based institute. The gift includes an initial investment into a new MindX lab, recruitment of two scientists, and several new labs for AI sleep and dream and AI for anti-aging research.
Cryptocurrency founders Vitalik Buterin and Sandeep Nailwal invested $100M in cryptocurrency to support Cvodi-19 research and medical infrastructure in India. The first part of the gift went towards tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in India through emergency humanitarian relief. Much of the Covid-19 research will focus on COVID-19 airborne transmission by building better medical equipment. Additional funding will focus on Covid-19 airborne transmission for building better medical equipment.
The Albanese government is providing $73M AUS for 19 projects in Australia to develop and implement new medical technologies or to build or upgrade facilities for cutting-edge health and medical research. The grants include $2.9M AUS for a device that treats depression using closed-loop, non-invasive brain stimulation. The project will test the prototype device and develop digital infrastructure to enable its widespread use in homes and clinics. Nearly $9.8M AUS will help progress Targeted Alpha Therapy – a promising cancer treatment that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells to kill them, without affecting any other part of the body. Another $2.9M AUS will support Australia’s first purpose-built human microbiome biobank. This will help researchers study the diverse ways micro-organisms influence our health and how they might be used to treat diseases. An additional $4.3M AUS will fund a purpose-built vaccine laboratory and access to expertise to enable Australian researchers to develop and rollout new mRNA vaccines and therapies. The 19 projects are funded under the National Critical Research Infrastructure Initiative, a 10-year, $650M Australian Government investment from the Medical Research Future Fund which funds facilities, equipment, systems, and services that support world-class health and medical research.
Mark Dunajtschik and his partner, Dorothy Spotswood made a $50M NZ donation to build Te Wao Nui, a children’s hospital. Additionally, the couple committed another $50M NZ to create a new, 34-bed adult mental health facility on the Hutt Hospital campus.
SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC announced a transformational gift of $50M from the Lee Foundation that will support the advancement of innovation and research through programs and initiatives in the AMC Health Discovery District – an ecosystem of innovation centers connecting each SingHealth campus, including the upcoming Eastern General Hospital. The Academic Medicine Innovation Institute, established in 2021, will oversee the fostering of a vibrant innovation culture in the ecosystem. The Lee Foundation’s gift will boost the AMC’s efforts to design and strengthen frameworks to hasten advancements in healthcare innovation, seed the potential for discovery and innovation through funding and pilot grants, and push the boundaries of medicine through novel research programs.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a renewed collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Government and Tsinghua University to support the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in its efforts to improve health outcomes worldwide through lifesaving therapies for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, which disproportionately affect the world’s poorest. GHDDI, a nonprofit institution established in 2016 as China’s first public-private partnership on innovative research between the Beijing Municipal Government, Tsinghua University, and the Gates Foundation, aims to address infectious disease disparities in research priorities. Over the next five years, the Gates Foundation will provide US$50 million to GHDDI, which will be matched by the Beijing Municipal Government, to bolster the institute’s drug discovery capacity.
The Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) and the Mastercard Foundation have announced a $45M partnership Manufacturing in Africa for Disease Immunization and Building Autonomy (MADIBA), a significant step towards achieving vaccine manufacturing autonomy in Africa. The multi-year project, aimed at developing and building a world-class workforce to support vaccine manufacturing, will establish a Centre of Training Excellence to equip talented young people, particularly young women, with specialized skills in vaccine research, manufacturing, production, and distribution. Based in Senegal, MADIBA aligns with the “Plan Sénégal Émergent” (Emerging Senegal Plan) to manufacture half of the country’s pharmaceutical products by 2035 as well as the African Union’s ambitious target to fulfill 60 percent of the continent’s vaccine needs by 2040.
La Trobe University received a $45M AUS estate gift from the late Olga Tennison – a compassionate Brisbane-born philanthropist with a life-long interest in autism, sparked by a family connection. Mrs. Tennison’s connection with La Trobe spans more than a decade; she was responsible for the establishment in 2008 of Australia’s first research centre dedicated to autism – the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). Mrs. Tennison died in January 2021, at the age of 92, leaving the $45M AUS gift to La Trobe in her estate plans. Researchers at La Trobe University’s OTARC conduct internationally recognized autism research across the lifespan, including early detection and diagnosis, intervention and supports, and employment and wellbeing. The gift is endowed and will be held in perpetuity to support the work of OTARC.
Monash University has received a $30M AUS philanthropic gift that will fund vital mental health research and preventative treatment initiatives to improve the lives of millions of Australians. The gift from the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund will accelerate research by Monash’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. The Turner Institute is a research institute dedicated to preventative brain and mental health research, treatment, and education. This latest gift will fund a study by the Turner Institute that will follow thousands of residents across all age groups in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs over a 10-year period, establishing a ‘living lab’ for preventing, monitoring, and treating the signs of mental illness, dementia, and other brain conditions.
Henry and Susan Samueli donated $25M to Israel’s Beilinson Medical Center, which was matched with an additional $9M from Clalit Health Services, to create a holistic cancer treatment institute, which is meant to both treat patients and perform research. The Samuelis donation to create the Samueli Integrative Cancer Pioneering Institute will go primarily to funding research, with the goal that the findings will be shared around the world. The goal of the new institute is to develop new, more holistic cancer treatment methods and practices. The institute’s research will look at everything “from the level of the molecule to the full person, along the full course of treatment, asking questions that are important not just from the investigator’s perspective, but from the patient’s perspective and from the community’s perspective.”
The governments of Mozambique, South Africa, and Eswatini, in partnership with The Global Fund, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Goodbye Malaria, recently received the third MOSASWA regional grant following the successful completion of two previous grants. MOSASWA is a trilateral agreement between the governments of Mozambique, South Africa, and Eswatini, with the aim to work collaboratively across borders to accelerate malaria elimination in the South East African region. The new grant, totaling $24M, runs from 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2025. During this period, a primary focus will be assisting South Africa and Eswatini to move closer to malaria elimination. Southern Mozambique will see districts begin to enter sub-national malaria elimination with a continued decline in both morbidity and cases, in all three provinces of operation, namely Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo.
Seoul National University Hospital received a donation of ₩30B ($23.7M USD) from Naver Corporation, South Korea’s internet portal giant, to support research in digital biotech for three years. The donation will provide research grants to SNUH researchers who are conducting innovative and challenging research in the field of digital bio through a research.
The International Vaccine Institute, an international organization with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health, announced the start of a multi-country study to better understand the burden of Human papillomavirus (HPV) among girls and women in low- and lower middle-income countries. This study received $14.99M in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with $1M co-funding from the Swedish government and will help inform intervention implementation and prioritization of research and development efforts that have the greatest potential public health impact. The focus of this global HPV burden study will be on girls and women ages 9 to 50 in three South Asian countries and five sub-Saharan African countries that currently have no or limited data on HPV burden and have either not yet introduced HPV vaccines into national immunization programs or have had mixed success with uptake. The study also includes qualitative sub-studies to further understand how gender-related dynamics create barriers to HPV prevention, screening, and treatment services, further influencing HPV burden in girls and women.
The Albanese Government is funding new research that could help prevent mitochondrial disease from being passed on to children by their mothers. Monash University will receive $15M AUS through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for the mitochondrial donation pilot program, mitoHOPE. A key focus of the research is to determine, through a clinical trial, the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of using mitochondrial donation reproductive technology in clinical practice in Australia. The project aims to assist women to have biological children who do not inherit the predisposition to mitochondrial disease and will help determine the best way to safely offer mitochondrial donation to Australian women with the disease. This funding will support research and ongoing monitoring of trial participants—including any children born as a result of mitochondrial donation.
UNSW Sydney announced a $10M AUS gift from the Sir William Tyree Foundation which will help establish an institute focused on transforming healthcare by delivering commercially and clinically viable solutions to major 21st century health issues. The Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering (Tyree IHealthE) supportS flagship projects to address the challenges associated with Australia’s ageing population, the management of chronic disease, and many other health conditions. Tyree IHealthE will improve patient outcomes by reducing hospital admissions, offering earlier diagnoses, providing more targeted therapies, and delivering remote care and self-care.
Tel Aviv University has established the Colton Center for Autoimmunity, a multidisciplinary center for the study of autoimmune diseases – chronic conditions involving an abnormal response of the immune system within body tissues. The Center will collaborate with Israel’s medical centers and health services including HMO’s and Hospitals as well as selected scientists from other academic institutions to enable big data analytics of medical information and biological samples from patients with autoimmune diseases and promote understanding of the causes of morbidity and recurrent flareups and possible early diagnostics and treatments. The Center’s establishment was enabled by a generous donation of $10M from Tel Aviv University Governors Judith and Stewart Colton.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has announced that the Chair of the Berghofer Foundation, Toowoomba’s Clive Berghofer, has made a generous donation to help deliver its vital services across Queensland. The funds will contribute towards large infrastructure investment across Brisbane, Mount Isa, and Bundaberg as well as support the innovative cabin fit out for our new flagship aircraft, the Beechcraft King Air 360.