Say what you will about techies and charitable giving, but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has established himself as one of the most important philanthropists in the world, even nabbing a spot on Businessweek’s list of most generous people. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates and his wife work to eradicate poverty and increase access to healthcare.
Now, with a $100,00 grant offered through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program, the Gateses are hoping to find “anyone — students, scientists or entrepreneurs” to reinvent the condom. It’s your time to shine, Ballmer.
The contest, spotted by Gothamist, is looking for one genius inventor to develop “the next generation of condom.” Though condoms are the most reliable contraceptive method to protect against pregnancy and STIs, it doesn’t take your ex-boyfriend to tell you how much they kind of suck (oh, and will he tell you). So the foundation is requesting proposals for a next-gen condom that “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use.”
If that’s too much of an undertaking for you, the foundation offers other ideas:
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.
If you manage to develop a condom that guys won’t complain about having to wear, you will win $100,000 from the Gates Foundation, help contribute towards a healthier world and also achieve deity status among anyone who has ever heard or uttered the phrase, “But it feels so much better without one.”