Bill Gates has been awarded the first Einstein Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU).
"The Einstein Award represents the creation of a continuum of great minds and was inspired by the legacy of Albert Einstein, a founding father of our university who wrought a profound revolution in human understanding of our world," said Professor Menachem Magidor, president of the Hebrew University.
"Bill Gates is a most worthy recipient. Like Einstein, he is a leader whose actions stem from the knowledge that human progress includes alleviating human suffering."
Gates will be honoured at a gala dinner in New York in December. Proceeds will help to fund plant and animal science research at the Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Israel.
Gates recently stood down from Microsoft to concentrate on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which supports development work in more than 100 countries.
AFHU president George A. Schieren said: "We are truly privileged to be honouring Bill Gates who, in addition to his revolutionary approach to IT, is making a profound difference in the lives of millions worldwide.
"He is confronting hunger, resource scarcity and health threats, all of which Israel faced and has successfully overcome since 1942 when The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences was established."
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