Bill Gates set for University of Edinburgh agriculture visit

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will visit the University of Edinburgh, Picture: AFP/Getty
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will visit the University of Edinburgh, Picture: AFP/Getty
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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the UK International Development Secretary are to visit Edinburgh University to discuss how agricultural research is helping communities worldwide.

Mr Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Penny Mordaunt will talk about how their organisations invest in projects based in Edinburgh which are improving the health and productivity of people and farm animals at home and abroad.

During their visit on Friday, they will take part in a discussion event with staff and students to highlight how UK innovations are improving the prosperity of farmers in developing countries.

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They will also make announcements regarding further investment in UK agricultural innovation and unveil a plaque to formally launch the University’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, a £35 million research and teaching initiative focused on safeguarding the future of the world’s food supplies.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Edinburgh University principal, said: “Feeding the world’s growing population well while protecting the natural systems on which we all depend is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.

“In addition to world-class research, our Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security will equip future leaders with the knowledge and expertise to tackle this challenge and safeguard the future of the world’s food supplies for generations to come.”

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During the visit, researchers from the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health will showcase their work, while experts from the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions project will highlight how developments in data-sharing and accessibility can help inform better livestock decision making.

Representatives from the Edinburgh-based charity the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) will discuss their work to improve the accessibility and affordability of livestock vaccines, medicines and diagnostics in developing countries.