Our goals for the year ahead

Today we announce five goals for Wellcome. These goals look ahead to how we will build strategic partnerships and promote policies which support research globally.

Staff member at the Africa Health Research Institute, KwaZulu-Natal, holding up test tubes in the lab.
As part of our goal to push R&D for health up the global political agenda, we're helping to strengthen science in Africa.
Credit: Ben Gilbert, Wellcome

The Wellcome Trust exists to improve health for everyone, by helping great ideas to thrive. As one of the world’s largest charitable foundations, we are committed to taking on some of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

To achieve this, we expect to spend more than £5 billion over the next five years. We know that our mission is ambitious and stretching: we can’t achieve it alone, and we’ll accomplish much more by working in partnership. Our goals include:

We will champion and support research through changing times

Wellcome will continue to fund the best science and research in the UK and elsewhere, through our grants to individuals and teams, and national and international centres of excellence. We will speak up for the huge contribution that science makes to knowledge, to health, and to the Sustainable Development Goals, during a period of continuing uncertainty around Brexit and wider political change. We intend to make science more open, more international, more diverse and more inclusive, and advance the public engagement and science education that’s essential to society.

We will ensure the world is better prepared for the next epidemic

Thousands of lives were lost because the world was not prepared for Ebola. We know that developing new vaccines, and reforming systems for epidemic response, can make us better prepared next time. Through Wellcome’s support for CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, we will support the development of at least four candidate vaccines to proof-of-concept, so they can be tested immediately when outbreaks begin. And we will work to advance surveillance, data-sharing and financing initiatives that will help to make us all safer.

We will advance the global response to drug-resistant infections

In September 2016 the United Nations passed a resolution to tackle anti-microbial resistance. Wellcome’s networks, experience and expertise place us at the centre of this challenge. We will provide national governments and international organisations with evidence and expertise to create action plans based on robust science, we will coordinate and monitor progress, and we will stimulate the discovery and development of the new antibiotics we so badly need. 

We will harness the creativity of innovators across disciplines to deliver health impact

The innovations that bring the greatest benefit to life and health often emerge from work at the interface of different disciplines. Wellcome will support people with the imagination to cross these boundaries and develop great ideas into interventions that save and transform lives. By 2022, this approach to innovation will be improving at least a million lives every year.

We will push R&D for health up the global political agenda

We will work with governments, international bodies, NGOs, business, academia and the public to give research a bigger role in tackling the world’s health challenges. We will bring science to bear on the health implications of the changing climate and environment, and strengthen science in Africa and India. We will help the World Health Organization’s next director-general to achieve reform, to build trust and financial security, and to use and advance the best health research.