Bill Gates Will Give You $100,000 To Create a Better Condom


Condoms are globally recognized and used by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. Their main use is to reduce and prevent both unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. As time passes by, they are one of the few things that haven’t changed much in the past 50 years. It is time for something new perhaps? sexual-helth-week-condoms

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says “YES”. They are offering inventors everywhere a chance to design the “next generation of condoms”. The foundation is offering $100,000 start-up grant to make the design concept a reality. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking for “a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use.”

The call-to-action states that condoms have been in existence for nearly 400 years, and yet have undergone relatively few improvements. The foundation’s aim is to pave the way for someone to introduce a more appealing condom in the hopes of promoting safe, more pleasurable sex. “The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom”, states the Foundation in the challenge description. So would a “next-generation condom” find some way to increase sensation as to promote men to wear them more often, purely in the name of global health?

Will a redesign encourage people to wear them? Won’t the same lazy excuses exist?

Female condoms, meanwhile “suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts,” says the Foundation. So perhaps a cheaper, simpler female condom design will also reduce and prevent both unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections.

The challenge is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Grand Challenges Explorations,” an ongoing initiative to fund programs geared towards improving the life of the world’s citizens. In order to qualify for the challenge, proposals must have a testable hypothesis, include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated and yield interpretable and unambiguous data,” state the Foundation’s entrant guidelines.

Now the question remains, do you think you could get a guy to wear one of these hypothetical next-generation condoms? How would you build a better condom?

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