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BGI, Gates Foundation to Team on Agricultural Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have inked a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on applying genomic tools to improving global health and agricultural development.

The partners said that they intend to "collaborate on both a strategic level and a specific project level." They will leverage the Gates Foundation's agriculture and global health program knowledge and networks with BGI's sequencing and genomics capabilities. Their goal is to significantly reduce poverty and/or improve health outcomes in the developing world, they said.

The partners also said they will provide prompt and broad dissemination of information from their collaborative efforts, and they will provide broad access to any technology that arises from their projects. Such technology would be provided "at a reasonable cost to the poor," they said.

"We are confident that the combination of our respective capabilities, expertise, and experience will yield important scientific breakthroughs in the areas of human, plant, and animal genomics that will contribute to the advancement of sustainable health and agriculture development, especially in the developing world," Huanming Yang, chairman and co-founder of BGI, said in a statement.

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