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Bill Gates Foundation Offering $100K Grant for Next-Generation Condom

Mar 23, 2013 10:22 PM EDT

"Why would you reinvent the wheel?" goes the old saying, so why would you then reinvent the condom? Well, Bill Gates is hoping to do just that through his foundation and Grand Challenges in Global Health Program by offering a $100,000 grant to anyone who can create the world's next-generation condom.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking for one inventor to create the next-gen condom that "significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use." Condoms have been an important part of today's society by preventing wide-spread and life-threatening diseases, along with being an effective form of contraception. Gothamist first reported on the Gates Foundation grant.

"Additional concepts that might increase [condom usage] 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," noted the Gates Foundation.

The new update product should ideally be even more effective, and lower the chances of transmitting venereal diseases. The condom would also ideally be harder to rip, preventing accidental pregnancies as well. Prior to the introduction of the combined oral contraceptive pill, condoms were the most popular birth control method in the Western world. 

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