Bill Gates Offers $1 M to Invent World's Next-Generation Condom

First Posted: Mar 25, 2013 06:12 AM EDT

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates promises to offer a  $100,000 of initial funding, with up to $1 million of possible continued funding through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to anyone, from students and scientists to entrepreneurs, who can invent a next-generation condom.

The foundation welcomes applications for Round 11 of its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. This grant program is aimed at encouraging bold approaches to improve the lives of the world's poorest people. Those with a transformative idea can submit it online easily along with the online application.

"To overcome persistent health and development problems, we need new, game-changing ideas," Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Science at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a press statement. "Inspiration can come from anywhere and we are hopeful that this new round of Grand Challenges Explorations will uncover innovative approaches to improve lives around the world."

In the year 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were declared as the second-most generous philanthropists in America. 

The Grand Challenge Explorations Initiative was launched in 2008 and has funded more than 800 grants in 52 different countries.

The challenge aims at creating the next-generation condom that preserves or enhances the pleasure so as to increase uptake and also promote its regular use.

According to the Gates foundation, the proposals should have a testable hypothesis, a connected plan, and should be able to generate an explicit data plan in Phase I to be considered for Phase II .

Currently, the rate of global production of condoms is 15 billion units per year, with more than 750 million users.

According to the Gates Foundation, the other concepts that might help in increasing condom usage include certain attributes such as ease of use for male and female condoms, for example good packing or innovative design that is easier to apply.

The proposal should ensure that the product should be more effective and lowers the chances of transmitting diseases.

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