Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is offering start-up funds of $100,000 to anyone who can come up with the “next-generation condom,” according to Grand Challenges in Global Health.
The Round 11 of Grand Challenges Explorations initiative through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is aimed at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people – and a new, innovative condom could do just that.
The condom must be effective at lowering the chance of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, and offer incentive for men and women to use it.
If chosen, the Foundation would continue to fund the condom up to $1 million.
“To overcome persistent health and development problems, we need new, game-changing ideas,” Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Science at the Foundation, said in a press release. “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.”
According to the press release, the new condom will “preserve or enhance the pleasure so as to increase uptake and also promote its regular use.”
The proposals must have a “testable hypothesis . . . an associated plan for how the idea would be validated . . . and would yield . . .an unambiguous data plan in Phase I, to be considered for Phase II.”
Of course, the condom should also be easy to use and include ground-breaking design.
Bill Gates is running a reverse Shark Tank to try to get someone to develop a new type of condom that the people of the world will adopt as the new cool way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Anyone who's able to create such a product will get a cool $100,000.
“We are looking for a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use. Additional concepts that might increase uptake include attributes that increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms, for example better packaging or designs that are easier to properly apply,” the Foundation says in an invitation on its Grand Challenges website.
“In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired. Proposals must (i) have a testable hypothesis, (ii) include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated, and (iii) yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding.”
That second phase of funding could call for a $1,000,000 investment. They're looking for new materials, shapes, sizes, or science-based changes to help improve the condom's marketability.