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Bill Gates offers grant for ‘next generation’ condom

By Doug Powers  •  March 26, 2013 04:53 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

A condom manufactured using specs approved by the guy who green-lit Windows ME? Count me out.

From ABC News:

Gates will give a $100,000 grant to whoever can invent the “next generation condom” through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. The estimated 80 grant recipients can then apply for a follow-up grant worth up to $1 million.

“Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?” the Grand Challenge prompt asks. ”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 [sexually transmitted infections]?”

Aside from being a contradictory phrase, what exactly is a “next generation condom”? Is it solar powered? One that doesn’t leave an annoying circular imprint on the outside of your wallet because it’s been in there since 1987? (asking for a friend)


The proposals must have a “testable hypothesis … an associated plan for how the idea would be validated … and would yield … an unambiguous data plan in Phase I, to be considered for Phase II.”

Of course, the condom should also be easy to use and include ground-breaking design.

Officially ruled out as a possible name for the winning product: Microsoft.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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