Bill Gates wants to give the world a better condom, and he’s doing it by enlisting the help of whoever can provide one. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up a $100,000 grant to the person who can create “the next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure.” The point of the new condom? To encourage “regular use.”
The call to action can be found on Grand Challenge’s website, and the prize money is meant to act as a startup for the person who wins. The proposals submitted must “have a testable hypothesis,” “include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated” and “yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding.”
“Condoms have been in use for about 400 years yet they have undergone very little technological improvement in the past 50 years,” Gates’ challenge reads. “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. In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired.”
Considering how many people in the world are suffering from STDs, encouraging the use of condoms seems like a great idea. Making them seem pleasurable, though, might be more easily said than done.