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The QEII Centre in Westminster played a pivotal role in last week’s annual ‘Grand Challenges’ global conference, which showcases and funds cutting-edge health and development research and featured Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, will.i.am among its high-profile speakers.

Innovation was the theme of the three-day conference co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Grand Challenges Canada, USAID and the EC, and saw experts from all over the world address key questions in tackling global health challenges, achieving sustainable development goals, treating infectious diseases and developing collaborations.

As one of London’s largest dedicated event venues, QEII was chosen as the hub of this ground-breaking event gathering of scientific minds and pioneers. In an exclusive centre takeover, the QEII was used for registrations of the 1,800 delegates across three days, numerous key scientific track sessions, roundtable debates, a poster session and reception, lunches as well as the closing reception.

With speakers representing world-leading academic and health organisations, the scientific track sessions examined: vaccines and life sciences innovation; optimising drug discovery and translation; a global lens on antimicrobial resistance; crop research; building a strong research ecosystem for sustainable developments; data, discovery and decision making in global health; healthy birth, growth and development; personalised medicine and precision public health; saving brains; global mental health; from innovation to impact; climate change and urbanisation and their impact on health and menstrual health.

Having previously hosted an event at the centre, Bill Gates is no stranger to the QEII. Other high-profile and influential leaders and pioneers have included Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May as well as HRH the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince of Wales, HRH Princess Royal, HRH Duke of York, HRH Princess Margret and Princess Diana.

Chief executive at QEII Mark Taylor said: “As the QEII Centre has become synonymous with providing a stage for world-leaders harvesting game-changing and innovative ideas as well as pioneering research, we were delighted to welcome Bill Gates once again and host the Grand Challenges global conference – especially as it’s the first time it has been held in Europe. It was important that the conference came to London as Britain is one the world’s leading players and respected globally for both the quality and impact of its research.”

Image Courtesy of George Freeman MP via Twitter

Please click here for more information on Grand Challenges

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