LSE joins £10m challenge to protect against future pandemics

By working together...we can achieve more, more quickly and to the benefit of all of us.
- Minouche Shafik
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LSE Director Dame Minouche Shafik has joined Dame Sally Davies, former UK Chief Medical Officer, to launch ‘The Trinity Challenge’, bringing together some of the world’s leading universities and global organisations to better protect the world against health emergencies. 

The Trinity Challenge

Convened by Dame Sally Davies in her role as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, The Trinity Challenge sets a series of urgent questions to harness the potential of data and analytics to learn and share lessons from the great innovations made to combat COVID-19 and to build resilience against future health emergencies. £10 million of funding will be made available to Challenge Teams to support and scale their innovations across areas including economics, behavioural sciences, and epidemiology. 

The Trinity Challenge represents a diverse coalition of world-leading organisations - including LSE, Imperial College London, Google, Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - united by the common aim of using data and advanced analytics to develop insights and practical actions to better protect the world from health emergencies.   

Launching the Challenge, Sally Davies said:

“There will be another COVID-19, and there is an opportunity for the international community to learn lessons now and prepare for the future. The Trinity Challenge is a recognition by business, academia and philanthropy of the need for new, breakthrough ideas and approaches to beat the next pandemic.

“We need new ways of working, new partnerships, new ideas, and believe that together this strong and growing coalition can and will generate acts that protect and improve lives and livelihoods everywhere.”

Data-driven, inclusive pioneering solutions 

The Trinity Challenge is calling on global participants to submit impact-led ideas on how to safeguard our health and economic systems from the threat of global health emergencies. Submissions that make the selection will be supported with access to people, data and resources from Founding Members, to maximise the effectiveness of their solutions and leverage the world-leading expertise and innovation of these institutions. 

Challenge Teams will focus on potential solutions that support and strengthen the global public health ecosystem in a robust and inclusive way. Solutions will be fielded globally through an open and accessible submission process to bring the best minds and ideas together with the aim of developing insights which will benefit the world in the future. 

Working together to benefit all

Commenting on the launch of The Trinity Challenge, Minouche Shafik, said:

“The experiences of COVID-19 have shown us how pandemics do not respect borders. None of us is safe until we are all safe. By sharing cutting-edge data and analytics from around the world, we will be in a much stronger position to prevent health emergencies from happening, and better manage their impact if they do happen.

“By working together – across academia, businesses and the social sector - we can achieve more, more quickly and to the benefit of all of us.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO also welcomed the opening of The Trinity Challenge in a video message saying: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the world was not prepared. Together, we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure a pandemic of this magnitude, with this level of disruption to lives and livelihoods, never happens again."

You can register your interest to participate on The Trinity Challenge website.

Formal applications will open in early October. The submission period will close in January 2021 

Behind the article

For more information on the Trinity Challenge, visit the website at

Watch the launch video

Alongside LSE, the Founding Members of the Trinity Challange include: Aviva, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brunswick Group, University of Cambridge, Discovery Limited, Facebook, Global Virome Project, Google, GSK,  HKUMed, Imperial College London, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Internews, Legal and General, McKinsey and Company, Microsoft, Northeastern University, Optum, Reckitt Benckiser, Tencent, Zenysis Technology.