The Challenge

2.5 billion people worldwide lack adequate sanitation facilities.

Unsafe sanitation kills more children every year than measles, malaria, and HIV/AIDS combined.

By 2050, global water demand is projected to increase by 55%, much faster than the world population.

Bill & Melinda Gates

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeks effective, safe, and affordable sanitation solutions for all.

Your Commercial Opportunity

The Reinvented Toilet offers a potential annual opportunity of more than $8 billion.*

Partners of the Gates Foundation are developing transformative technologies to define and support a new and sizable industry.

* Based on a report from the Boston Consulting Group

Moving transformative sanitation technology efficiently from prototype to product.

The Sanitation Technology Platform (STeP) helps transformative technologies reach the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe, affordable sanitation. STeP provides a full range of services including field testing, market intelligence and user insights to help inventors and industry develop products and services that address market and consumer needs. STeP is a collaboration of global experts and organizations that removes risk and streamlines the path to market, fostering greater success for its partners.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working with the best minds in key areas of research including physicists, biologists, product developers, and engineers. Together, they are re-thinking how human waste can be converted into safe by-products and sometimes even value-added outputs such as fertilizer and energy.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program fosters innovative approaches and technologies that can lead to radical and sustainable improvements in sanitation in the developing world. The foundation works with partners on models for governments, sanitation service providers and consumers. Visit the Innovation Center to learn more about the innovators and organizations funded by the Gates Foundation and the transformative technologies being developed.

How STeP Helps

STeP helps partners of the Gates Foundation by streamlining and removing the risk of technology development and commercialization. Bringing novel solutions to markets is complex and requires customized expertise to:

  • Develop strong business models
  • Field test in real world contexts
  • Identify and nurture partnerships

STeP offers a holistic approach that addresses technical, market, and non-market factors in parallel. While testing technologies in the field, STeP incorporates user insights and market intelligence to inform design and business planning. In short, STeP ensures that its partners have the resources and data they need to develop and launch products.

STeP not only supports individual partners, but functions as a platform for the broader sanitation community, converting knowledge and insights gained through doing into resources, tools, and tips that can be used by others invested in testing and commercializing technologies.

Visit the Resource Center

Learn more about how STeP is helping people and organizations build partnerships, field test technologies, and develop market intelligence and business plans to support commercialization.