The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s latest “Grand Challenges in Global Health” created a bit of a stir over the weekend: The global nonprofit is offering $100,000 to the inventor who can build a better condom.
“The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse,” the Gates foundation writes in a post announcing the better-condom grant. “Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure? If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs?”
As it does with all Grand Challenges grants, the Gates Foundation is offering $100,000 to fund initial R&D, with potential continuing funding of up to $1 million. Applications are accepted through May 7, 2013.