European foundations unite to tackle global challenges

Three of Europe’s biggest philanthropic foundations have joined together to award €5m to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.

Wellcome Trust, Volkswagen Stiftung and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond have funded six research groups as part of the Europe and Global Challenges Initiative. The projects range from understanding how to best protect and integrate Syrian refugees, to strengthening climate action in the global south. Each partner will fund two projects directly.

Millions of people in countries across the world are facing major challenges that affect their health, safety and livelihood. The world is tackling the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and social inequality and extreme weather events threaten more lives. The scale of these issues means that no one nation can tackle them independently.

Only through international partnerships such as this can we hope to create real and tangible solutions for millions of people.
Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome's Director

Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said: "The world is facing problems that cross borders, continents and nationalities. We want our solutions to reflect the nature of these issues, and by working together across Europe and beyond we can bring a collective voice and action. Only through international partnerships such as this can we hope to create real and tangible solutions for millions of people."

Göran Blomqvist, RJ’s chief executive, said: "Our cooperation is an explicit European initiative. The aim is to jointly fund research with a potential to widen the existing horizons and to open for new and unexpected perspectives."

Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, said: "In order to provide fundamental insights on understudied issues of global relevance, European foundations will cooperate across borders and jointly launch calls for proposals on respective topics. It is wonderful to see so much interest and enthusiasm of the European research foundation leaders for this endeavor."

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