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Cambridge Design Partnership announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ben Strutt, Head of Design, Mike Cane, Founder, and Cambridge Design Partnership’s Healthcare Research & Development Team will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled ‘Universal condom for improved reliability and sensation’.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mould in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Cambridge Design Partnership’s project is one of more than 80 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Cambridge Design Partnership and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included development of the next generation condom, agriculture development, and neglected tropical diseases.

Beyond the polyurethane male and female condom inventions of the mid 1990s, few step-change or widely adopted improvements have been made to the generic design since the early 20th Century when the dipped latex process was pioneered. To achieve cost effective construction, the obvious traditional design trade-off is between enough elasticity to provide a secure, robust, universal fit, while trying to minimize interference with natural sensation,’ explained Strutt. ‘Our proposal is for a revised construction that hopes to challenge these apparent conflicts.’

Mike Cane continued, ‘Our experienced medical device R&D team has worked on numerous global healthcare and CE/FDA approved products. Having Industrial Design and Human Factors & Usability teams in-house is a significant advantage to consumer healthcare projects that must deliver genuine user-centered solutions if they are to be successful.’

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