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Grand Challenges Thailand Joins Global Family of Grand Challenge Initiatives

  • Steven Buchsbaum, May 8, 2015

We at the Gates Foundation are very excited to hear the news that the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, joined by the CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, announced the Launch of the Grand Challenges Thailand, the newest member of the Grand Challenges family. Grand Challenges Thailand is being launched with the goal of bringing the together the Thai research, development and innovation community to tackle key issues for national development and global health. The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and the Thailand Research Organization Network are the main partners of this initiative. Thailand will join the growing international network of countries and organizations that promote global innovation through the Grand Challenges approach.

"The Grand Challenges Thailand initiative has been in the works for several years and now that it is launched, we can tackle key issues and priorities related to development for the societal and economic benefits on a national and global level" said Prof. Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong. "Research and development as well as monitoring and measuring of program success will be key factors in the project implementation process."

Grand Challenges Thailand will be funded by the Royal Thai Government and managed by the NRCT under the Thailand Research Organization Network (TRON) which includes the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand Research Fund (TRF), National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI), Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI), Agriculture Research Development Agency (ARDA), Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC), and National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). Research projects under Grand Challenges Thailand will foster innovations with impact for the betterment of those in need and will collaborate with partners in the broader Grand Challenges movement.

Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer at Grand Challenges Canada has played an active role in catalyzing this new initiative, as international advisory board member at the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). But both Dr. Peter Singer and Prof. Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong are old friends of Grand Challenges. The original Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative benefitted from a particularly wise, committed and activist Scientific Board led by Dr. Harold Varmus and both Peter and Yongyuth were charter members of this group of early visionaries. Both Peter, in leading the creation of Grand Challenge Canada, and Yongyuth, in leading the creation of Grand Challenges Thailand have been instrumental in one of the more surprising and likely more important outcomes of the original Grand Challenges Initiative – a growing network of partners and funders bring new resources and new approaches to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

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