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Ear to the Ground

Bill Gates Will Pay You as Much as $1 Million for a Better Condom

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Posted on Mar 22, 2013
Esparta (CC-BY-ND)

Condoms are cheap and effective, but they also diminish sexual pleasure, and that gets in the way of lifesaving.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to spur innovation in the sector, which produces 15 billion units a year by its estimate, despite a lack of creative thinking:

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.  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.

The foundation, which was started by the Microsoft founder and his wife and is also supported by billionaire Warren Buffett, is offering grants of $100,000 to $1 million to promising condom innovators.

Read more about it on The Verge.

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