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.
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.
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.
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Microsoft has announced Bill Gates, previously chairman of the board of directors, will assume a new role on the board as founder and technology advisor, in a shake-up that will see Satya Nadella become CEO.
Microsoft said Gates, who founded the company in 1975, will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction.
John Thompson, lead independent director for the board of directors, will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors and remain an independent director on the board.
Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately, after a five month long search to find Steve Ballmer's successor.
Nadella joined the compnay in 1992 and was charged with overseeing the company’s move to the cloud and the development of the cloud infrastructures that support Bing, Xbox, Office and other services.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder
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