Biomimicry has been called “an antidote to despair” because of its simple premise - that the sustainability issues we are wrestling with can be addressed if we study how living organisms have adapted to survive and thrive over the long haul. With the effects of global warming evident all around us, creating radically sustainable products, services, or systems that help communities become more resilient to climate change has never been more crucial.
That is why the Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation are issuing a call to action to look to our planet’s living systems to create viable solutions to the current climate crisis. Select teams will be invited to join the world’s only Biomimicry Accelerator to help them develop their innovations and bring them to market, with the help of the grand prize—the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize®.
"Having partnered with The Biomimicry Institute on this Challenge for several years now, I've learned that the most remarkable designs and ideas can come from the most unexpected people,” said Ray C. Anderson Foundation Executive Director John Lanier. “If you think that you don't have what it takes to enter this Challenge, or that all of the valuable innovations have already been made, I'm going to bet that you are wrong. Nature can inspire us all."
“We all have the ability to learn from nature by observing the world around us. We help participants in this Challenge hone this innate ability through training, tools, and mentorship and apply it to solving one of the many issues we face due to climate change,” said Megan Schuknecht, director of design challenges at the Biomimicry Institute.
When you join the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, your team has access to:
- The world’s most robust collection of biomimicry resources
- Advice from experts and mentors
- Invitation-only accelerator program with biomimicry and business bootcamp. All accelerator teams will be connected to partners and investors who can provide technical support, seed funding, and incubation support.
- The chance to be featured in high profile media
Each year, one Accelerator team is awarded the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize to help them bring their design to market.
In October 2017, the Ray of Hope Prize was awarded to NexLoop, who developed a water management system for urban food producers inspired by the way living systems capture, store, and distribute water. The current Accelerator cohort includes innovations such as a reforestation system inspired by winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter, a device inspired by baleen whales and African violet leaves that collects fine particulate matter in dense urban environments, and a circulatory system-inspired heating and cooling system. Learn more about past Accelerator participants and their innovations here.
In addition to participants, the Biomimicry Institute engages hundreds of individuals as mentors, judges, sponsors, outreach partners, and subject matter experts. If you are interested in volunteering to support the challenge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over four years to support the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a multi-year effort to crowdsource, support, and seed promising innovations inspired by nature. Each year, the Institute and Foundation together will award the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry.
Registration is now open for the 2017-18 round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Individuals and teams can learn more about last year’s finalists and register for the next round at challenge.biomimicry.org.