In 2013, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that their Foundation was making condom innovation a priority (alongside toilets, vaccines and neonatal care): they offered a $100,000 grant to any team with a strong proposal for a “next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use”.
The Foundation received more than 800 submissions, which in 2013 they narrowed down to 11 winners, announcing a further 11 winners of the grant in 2014. The successful proposals ranged from those using Nobel prizewinning materials (graphene) to those with built-in applicators or lubricant. The Gates Foundation also gave money to simple behavioural studies, and to a shrink-to-fit condom dreamed up by the CFHC. Those proposals are now able to apply for phase two funding of up to $1m each – the winners will be announced later this year, with only a handful likely to be successful.
QotD: Condom Innovation