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Feel like a Genius? Global Competition to Re-Invent the Toilet

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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   mattCR


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Posted August 15 2012 - 07:16 AM


Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries.

  The charitable foundation founded by Gates and his wife kicked off a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations.   "Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human dignity," Gates said in a statement at thegatesnotes.com.   "The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems."   The Toilet Fair was described as a swirl of about 200 inventors, designers, investors, partners and others passionate about creating safe, effective, and inexpensive waste management systems.   Universities from Britain, Canada, and the United States were awarded prizes in a competition launched a year ago challenging inventors to come up with a better toilet.   First place went to the California Institute of Technology for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen gas and electricity.   Loughborough University came in second for a toilet that transforms waste into biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water.   Third place went to the University of Toronto for a toilet that sanitizes human waste and recovers minerals and water.

  So far, others figured out how to make them: create electricity, gas, or charcoal; process clean water, or mineral extraction as well as sanitization.   Significant cash prizes and monetary backing available..   Forget Mac & PC.. Windows and OSX.. a significant change in waste management would have global impact in a way very few tools do.   So, you have a good idea?   Video of some of the finalists:  http://www.theglobea...213/?cmpid=rss1 The Gates Foundation is giving $370M + Ongoing investment capital to help find the right idea.  

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