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Bill Gates: Brexit will not affect science and research

Bill Gates Credit: Pool

The science and research industry in the UK will not be negatively affected by Brexit, Bill Gates has predicted.

Speaking during a plenary on leadership in science and innovation at the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting - a conference attended by more than 1,000 scientists - the Microsoft founder added he believed there was already a stronger research relationship between the UK and the US, than between the UK and other European Union countries.

The billionaire continued that more needed to be done to draw in developing nations and their institutions when researching diseases as often they provided links to where preventable illnesses are.

While the 60-year-old did concede there was "some uncertainty" about exactly how collaborations between different countries would take place post-Brexit, he added he believed "the basic strengths of the institutions that are here and the opportunities that exist will overcome the uncertainties we have".

Speaking in London, Mr Gates stressed that Brexit negotiations should ensure the ability of scientists to move around easily and that funding should be guaranteed once that from the EU ends.

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Bill Gates: Collaboration vital in eradicating diseases

Bill Gates speaks at the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting. Credit: Pool

The public and private sectors need to work together more closely in eradicating diseases, Bill Gates has said.

Speaking during a plenary on leadership in science and innovation at the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting, the Microsoft founder said the issue was that the private sector was good at developing drugs over a long-term as these could be marketed, while the public sector was good at responding to pandemics, something less financially beneficial to the private sector.

The billionaire highlighted the Zika virus as a good case of the two sectors working well together, arguing that more collaborative work such as this would be beneficial.

Bill Gates: More work of clean, cheap energy needed

Bill Gates speaks at the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting. Credit: Pool

The private sector and the public sector need to work together more to tackle issues such as clean energy and climate change, Bill Gates has said.

The "boundary" between the two sectors is somewhere where more work on cheap, clean energy should be focused, the billionaire added.

Speaking during a plenary on leadership in science and innovation at the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting, the Microsoft founder said that more "high risk" private investors needed to fund "energy breakthroughs" so that developing countries could become electrified with cheap energy without having a negative impact on the environment.

Bill Gates: UK produces 'world-class' scientific talent

Bill Gates Credit: Pool

The UK is "world-class" in producing scientific talent, Bill Gates has said.

The Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist praised universities in the UK such as Oxford, Imperial College, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the research they do into preventable diseases.

The 60-year-old also highlighted the Government's role in ensuring that at these universities scientists have the facilities to carry out "pioneering" and "amazing" work.

Bill Gates: UK support against pandemics is crucial

Bill Gates. Credit: Pool

The support of the UK government in fighting global pandemics in vitally important, Bill Gates has said.

The Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist said the government has done an "amazing" job in ensuring the UK is "world-class" in scientific research, but stressed that the world needs more innovation.

"We have a chance that something as bad or worse than Zika and Ebola will come along and we can't build a wall against that - we simply need innovative science," Mr Gates said in a speech at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, a conference attended by more than 1,000 scientists.

He noted that British scientists such as Nick Hamon from the International Vector Control Consortium are helping to lead the way in developing new insecticides that will fight malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

The conference discussed the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which will work on vaccines against pathogens that have the potential to become epidemics.

CEPI will partner with a number of other institutions, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the World Economic Forum, and the governments of Norway and India. It hopes to partner with the UK Vaccines Research Network, funded by the Department of Health.

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Bill Gates: Britain 'stronger and more influential' in EU

Bill Gates has said Britain is 'stronger' inside the European Union. Credit: Dave Thompson / PA Wire

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said Britain is "stronger, more prosperous and more influential" inside the European Union.

In a letter to The Times the multi-millionaire, who has invested more than a billion dollars in the UK, also warned that after Brexit the UK would be a "significantly less attractive place to do business and invest".

Mr Gates said Britain's EU membership and access to the single market played a role in the decision to place Microsoft's research facilities in Cambridge.

While ultimately a matter for the British people to decide, it is clear to me that if Britain chooses to be outside of Europe, it will be a significantly less attractive place to do business and to invest.

It will be harder to find and recruit the best talent from across the Continent; talent which, in turn, creates jobs for people in the UK.

And, it would be harder to raise the investment needed for public goods such as new medicines and affordable clean energy solutions, for which we need the scale of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and financial backing that the combined strength of the EU provides.

– Bill Gates
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