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.