Back to basics | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Back to basics

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has altered his focus from PCs to WCs

When you’ve spent your whole career transforming the way people use technology in their working and personal lives, no one really expects you to start talking about the most basic human functions.

But through his work as a philanthropist, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has realised that toilet sanitation is a pressing problem facing the world, even here in 2018. Remarkably, 2.3 billion people – that’s about a third of the global population – still don’t have access to basic toilet sanitation facilities. Diseases such as cholera and dysentery, which can result from poor conditions, kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent in excess of $200million on researching toilet technologies in recent years and this week, Bill made a speech at the three-day Reinvented Toilet Expo in China. Addressing this shocking lack of sanitation access for so many people, along with the absence of sewer systems in many new cities, Bill stressed that we must find creative ways to process faecal waste.

Twenty innovative sanitation products were showcased at the expo, all designed to prevent disease and eliminate harmful bacteria. As it continues its journey from a Roman innovation, to an upper class privilege, to a basic human right, the humble toilet has a huge role to play in securing the health and wellbeing of the human race.

Are you working on an engineering or manufacturing innovation that will make essential facilities available to everyone, no matter where the location? Do you have a bright idea to improve sanitation, clean water, health care or waste disposal delivery to people in need?

If so, get in touch with us on 0800 772 0800 and we might even share your story in a future issue of Breakthrough magazine.


There's more you should know