Thiruvananthapuram: 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 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.