The Wellcome Trust in London has announced new strategic investments designed to advance the science and medical research fields.
The trust plans to invest £5 billion ($7.7 billion) over the next five years in three areas: advancing the best ideas in science and research related to the fundamental health challenges of our time; seizing opportunities to provide timely, concerted, and intensive support to accelerate progress; and driving reform in areas such as open access to research results and public engagement. Over the past decade, the trust has invested some £6 billion ($9.26 billion) in science and medical research initiatives.
The trust's initial priorities under the new framework include efforts to address drug-resistant infection; stimulate research, technology development, and policy changes aimed at expanding vaccination coverage in low- and middle-income countries; study how global food systems and urbanization are linked to health and improve the evidence base for public policy; and enhance science education for youth. The latest announcement follows earlier announcements by the trust of a new research finding framework and a five-year, £75 million ($116 million) initiative to investigate the connections between the environment and human health.
"The Wellcome Trust has a long-standing record in science and research of which we are very proud," said Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar. "We are able to build on that legacy with an increased commitment to supporting people and teams with great ideas in basic science and applied research, social science, and the humanities, which will remain at the core of our work. But we can now also bring additional focus to some of the biggest health challenges of our time. We responded swiftly to Ebola, but there are other serious issues where we believe that we can help bring about change for the better."