Gates seeks local ties to counter global poverty

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Billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates with Jean-Lou Chameau, president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, after talks with university faculty members on Tuesday.

Billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates with Jean-Lou Chameau, president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, after talks with university faculty members on Tuesday.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates visited the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on Tuesday to seek ties on ways to counter global hunger, malnutrition and water scarcity.

The world-renowned technology pioneer, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, took part in a roundtable discussion with KAUST faculty on agricultural research in arid and harsh conditions.

The participants focused on ideas and opportunities to align KAUST’s research with the Gates Foundation. Following the discussion, Gates toured several KAUST laboratories to see the water-efficient and sustainable systems of food production being developed.

Gates also met with faculty and students addressing global problems in water security and sustainability. During the visit, faculty members and students outlined their research that could help the foundation focus on improving water resources, especially in places such as India and Africa.

“I’m optimistic that the research KAUST is undertaking will help benefit the livelihoods of the world’s poorest women, children and families,” said Gates. He said he was impressed with KAUST’s facilities and the culture of collaboration among faculty and students.

KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau said Gates “saw first-hand the novel science our talented people are undertaking, empowered with exceptional facilities and a culture that promotes excellence and impact.”

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