A scientist working at an Indian health major has won a USD 100,000-grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for developing next-generation condoms using polyester raw material as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional prophylactics.
Lakshminarayanan Ragupathy, of HLL Lifecare Limited, has won the grant for the project, among 50 ideas selected as a part of the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) Round-12 funded by the Foundation, company's Chairman and Managing Director M Ayyappan said in a statement today.
Commenting on the award, Ragupathy, who works at HLL's state-of-the-art Corporate R&D Centre, said it would be his endeavour to develop extremely thin and bio-degradable condoms, which will ensure increased use in the days to come.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant will enable him to pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled 'polyester materials to produce better, green and cheaper condoms.'
The GCE funds individuals worldwide to explore game-changing ideas that can break the mould in resolving persistent global health and development challenges.
A polymer scientist, Ragupathy joined HLL in 2012.
Earlier, he had worked as a post-doctoral fellow at University of Ulm, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany; and University of Manchester, UK. He obtained his PhD from Heriot-Watt University, UK in 2006.