Bill Gates-Backed Researchers Get Funds From Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim, the world’s richest person, donated to a group supported by fellow billionaire Bill Gates that performs research for agricultural productivity.

Slim contributed research facilities that Mexico’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish initials as CIMMYT, will open this week, according to a a statement published today on his website and signed by Slim and Gates.

“The new infrastructure donated by the Carlos Slim Foundation will allow CIMMYT to apply its latest agriculture findings through the use of the most recent digital innovations,” the billionaires said in the statement. “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will assure that these practices, and the necessary resources to increase productivity, reach farmers in Africa and Southeast Asia.”

Slim and Gates didn’t disclose the amount of the donation. The Gates Foundation is identified on CIMMYT’s website as a supporter of its Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa project.

The two billionaires have teamed up before, announcing plans in 2010 to form a $150 million fund to promote child nutrition and fight diseases such as malaria in Mexico and Central America.

Gates has a fortune of $66 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassed only by Slim’s $78 billion. Gates has pledged to give away almost all of his fortune before he dies. Slim has said he’s not interested in committing to a similar promise.

The Gates Foundation’s asset trust endowment is $36.2 billion, according to its website. The Carlos Slim Foundation has $5 billion in assets, Arturo Elias, the billionaire’s spokesman, said last month.