New-age condom awarded $1 million in government funding
Innovative condom receives 2018 NSW Medical Devices Fund grant
by Ryan Malcolm 24 Aug 2018
A revolutionary hydrogel condom developed in close collaboration with the University of Wollongong has finalised a $1 million NSW Medical Devices Fund (MDF) grant that will finance manufacturing and human trials scheduled for late 2018.
Entitled Project Geldom, the innovative condom design was announced as one of seven winners of the 2018 NSW MDF, receiving funding that will aid in its further development of appropriate testing and subsequent commercialisation.
Development began in 2015, following the release of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (B&MGF) Grand Challenges strategic focus, in an effort to improve condom uptake and reduce the impact of HIV AIDS on a global scale.
Currently developed by Eudaemon Technologies, a start-up co-founded by Swinburne’s Dr Simon Cook, the ‘Geldom’ combines human-centred design principles with the hydrogel’s unique material properties, with an aim to alter the existing social stigma around condom use.
Initial testing and prototyping were undertaken at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Centre of Excellence for Material Science before Swinburne researchers were tasked with accelerating the design-led innovation process.
As a result, ‘Geldom’ promises to combine innovation in manufacturing, packaging and distribution in order to address a diverse global need, while also improving pleasure and eliminating the allergic response often associated with modern latex condoms.
Project Geldom CI Dr Simon Cook says the NSW MDF grant will go towards funding human trials in Kenya in late 2018, before moving into the commercialisation stage, with plans to collaborate with established condom manufacturers and relief agencies in developing world focus areas to increase universal access to the innovative condom.
“This success is a testament to the hard work that our team has put into the project over the last few years with the support of Swinburne," says Dr Cook.
"This funding really sets the stage for realising our vision of getting our technology to those in developing world where it is needed the most, as soon as possible.”
Project Geldom was one of two green-lit programs for phase two funding under the B&MGF Grand Challenges initiative, from a group of 22 other programs that were originally involved in phase one. Project Geldom was originally chosen from a pool of over 2000 applicants.
“We’ve gone above and beyond the material science to understand the challenges people face when using a condom and what might make them an easier and more enjoyable way to have safe sex.”
(Promotional packaging for the hydrogel 'Geldom')