A new way to restore remote areas of the Atlantic rainforest inspired by winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter. A passive way to cool city buildings that feels like being under a shady tree. A design that helps communities breathe easier by filtering air pollution much like a fish filters water.
These innovations and more will be showcased at the 2018 National Bioneers Conference as part of the Ray of Hope Prize® award event on Saturday, October 20. For the third year, Bioneers will welcome six international teams from the Biomimicry Launchpad, the world’s only accelerator program for early-stage nature-inspired innovations, as the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s John Lanier presents the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, a $25,000 second prize from an anonymous donor, and additional cash prizes.
“Since it was founded 29 years ago, Bioneers has held a lasting belief and reverence for lessons we can learn from nature and a firm commitment to empowering leadership in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Bioneers Executive Director Joshua Fouts. “We are inspired and honored to host these awards, which look to the natural world and youth for vision and wisdom to solve some of our planet’s most vexing problems.”
These teams are part of the Biomimicry Institute’s Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a global competition sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation that asks innovators to create radically sustainable climate change solutions inspired by the natural world. As winners of the Challenge, these teams were invited to join the Biomimicry Launchpad, which gives participants mentorship and support to develop their biomimetic designs. These teams will present their biomimicry solutions at the Biomimicry Launchpad Showcase on Friday, October 19, followed by the Ray of Hope Prize award on the mainstage of the Bioneers 2018 conference on October 20.
“As we approach the third annual Ray of Hope Prize, I am excited to see what the teams in the Biomimicry Launchpad have developed,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “We know that biomimicry is a better way of designing, and teams from past years have proven it. I expect this year’s teams will continue to raise the bar.”
“Those of us in the sustainability movement talk about redesigning pretty much everything and it feels daunting. But over 30 thousand new products hit the market each year while natural resources dwindle -- which provides a good rationale for innovations designed to support healthy ecosystems instead of detract from them,” said Beth Rattner, executive director of the Biomimicry Institute. “Our Challenge and Launchpad are helping to create a new generation of innovators who know how to look to nature to fast track designs that serve both their communities and the planet.”
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 2018-19 round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Individuals and teams can learn more at challenge.biomimicry.org. Early-stage entrepreneurs are also invited to apply directly to the Biomimicry Launchpad. Applications will open in winter 2019 for the next cohort.
Biomimicry Launchpad Showcase