Summit aims to foster abundance through innovation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Leaders from business, research, government and nonprofits explored health care tourism and commercializing research at the first Global South Summit on Wednesday.

The event focused on ways to use innovation to meet global demands for more food and health care.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/QHdY8n ) reported that Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, warned that medical research progress is threatened by the possibility of extensive cuts in government funding if President Barack Obama and members of Congress fail to reach a budget deal by Jan. 1.

Collins said in a midday speech that his agency would lose more than 8 percent of its nearly $31 billion budget and have to cut the number of research grants by about 2,500 in 2013.

"We are at an inflection point," he said.

Other discussions at the summit explored ideas to feed the planet, deliver health care and build innovation hubs for food and health.

The Global South Summit is part of series of events leading up to the 2015 World Expo in Milan.

It was coordinated by Cumberland Center, an alliance of businesses and universities based at Cumberland University.

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