The has announced the winners of its , a competition designed to foster the development of "next generation" toilets that can deliver safe and sustainable sanitation solutions.
Made through the foundation's initiative, the awards were given to universities that came closest to designing toilets that could capture and process human waste without piped water, sewer, or electrical connections and transform that waste into useful resources such as energy and water at an affordable price. The winners include the , which was awarded the $100,000 first prize for a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity; UK-based , which received the $60,000 second prize for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water; and the , which was awarded the $40,000 third prize for a toilet that sanitizes the waste and recovers resources and clean water. The foundation also gave a $40,000 special recognition prize to and for their toilet user interface design.
In addition, the foundation announced a second round of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge grants totaling nearly $3.4 million to UK-based , in India, the in Durham, North Carolina, and the .
"Many of these innovations will not only revolutionize sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. "All the participants are united by a common desire to create a better world — a world where no child dies needlessly from a lack of safe sanitation and where all people can live healthy, dignified lives."