Organizations and Groups

Become inspired with the fascinating projects and interdisciplinary approaches that these groups and organizations have taken in areas as diverse and elegant as bio-robotics, self-assembly of nanostructures, sensory behavior applications, biocatalysis, remanufacturing, artificial neural networks, and outreach centers.

Biomimicry Guild

Biomimicry Guild Database

Prototype for alpha-testing

This is the alpha-prototype of the Biomimicry Database. It should function well enough to demonstrate its utility, and we encourage users to contribute data to the system. However, some features are not yet fully functional, bugs still exist, and only data on some topics is present. (Try a search for 'glue' to see some of the potential of the database.)

We would very much like your feedback on the tool's
usefulness and usability.
send feedback

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Evolutionary Materials Research Group

This basic research oriented project includes approaches of several disciplines: zoology, botany, structural biology, biomechanics, physics, and materials science. Using a wide variety of methods , the group studies mechanical systems and materials , which appeared in biological evolution. The research is mainly focused on biological surfaces specialised for enhancement or reduction of frictional or adhesive forces. Such surfaces are composed of highly-specialised materials and bear surface structures optimised for a particular function. Some of these systems employ secretory substances, modulating forces in the contact area.

In order to show different functional principles, we experimentally test many different systems and try to outline general rules of the interrelationship between structure and function. Since comparative studies on the microsculpture, ultrastructure, material properties, and attachment- detachment performances of several functional systems include a wide variety of organisms, some questions about the evolution of these systems can be resolved.

The obtained results are useful for high-tech areas, such as micro- and nanotechnology, as well as for bionics(biomimetics) of novel surface-active and composite materials.

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The Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability (BIONIS)

BIONIS Mission Statement: To promote the application of Biomimetics (Design Inspired by Nature) in products and services and its use in education and training'

Biomimetics is an enabling discipline which looks towards nature for ideas that may be adapted and adopted for solving problems:Inspiration rather than imitation

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The Bionics Competence Network (BIOKON)

BIOKON hosts the 28 major players in the field of bionics and biomimetics in Germany. It is a federally funded project under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The aim of BIOKON is to demonstrate the possibilities of bionics to business and industry, science, and the general public, and subsequently tap its full potential. This nationwide network thus encompasses the most important research groups in bionics and provides an ideal forum for scientific exchange, the development of curriculae for primary, secondary, and tertiary education as well as providing qualified contacts for inquiries from the industry.

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JPL's NDEAA Technologies Lab

"Nature is the largest laboratory that ever existed and ever will. In addressing its challenges through evolution Nature tested every field of science and engineering leading to inventions that work well and last. Nature has "experimented" with various solutions and over billions of years it has improved the successful ones. It has always served as a model for mimicking and inspiration to humans in their efforts to improve their life. Adapting mechanisms and capabilities from nature and using scientific approaches led to effective materials, structures, tools, mechanisms, processes, algorithms, methods, systems and many other benefits. The subject of copying, imitating, and learning from biology was coined Biomimetics by Otto H. Schmitt in 1969.
This field is increasingly involved with emerging subjects of science and engineering and it represents the studies and imitation of nature's methods, designs and processes. Biologically inspired technologies are making it possible to consider developing such devices as prosthetics that feel and operate like the "real thing" as well as engineering robots that look and behave as human and animals."
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Supervisor, Advanced Tech. Group & Senior Research Scientist

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ISTD Georgia Tech

A sustainable society requires innovative solutions for improving the quality of our lives - solutions that work harmoniously with the Earth's systems and across diverse cultures. Today, we are part of a global community connected through economic, technological, sociopolitical, and ecological systems. Now more than ever, the choices we make at home and at work impact not only our own welfare, but also the welfare of people in distant lands and future generations.

At Georgia Tech, we believe that a commitment to sustainability is as an opportunity for creativity and innovation in the way we satisfy the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable development is a social process that involves technological innovation. Our contribution to that process is education, research, and technological innovation.

The Institute for Sustainable Technology and Development (ISTD) is a university-wide organization that serves as the advocate for sustainability and guides the implementation of a twenty-year strategy for institutional transformation in education, research, and campus management practices.

Read faculty profiles

read more about Bryan Norton who writes on inter-generational equity, sustainability theory, bio-diversity policy and on valuation methods. His specialty is the integration of spatio-temporal scaling considerations into sustainability criteria  here

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The Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, was founded in 1990, when Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons @ assembled Bioneers for the first annual Bioneers conference, a gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities.

Bioneers was conceived to conduct programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Our vision of environment encompasses the natural landscape, cultivated landscape, biodiversity, cultural diversity, watersheds, community economics, and spirituality. Bioneers seeks to unite nature, culture and spirit in an Earth-honoring vision, and create economic models founded in social justice.

Read about the 2006 Bioneers Conference Speakers held at
Marin Center, San Rafael, CA, October 20-22, 2006: Presenters

Learn about the speakers at the 2006 Bioneers plenary session held at the
University of Massachusetts, October 20-22, 2006: here


for the Third Annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change
conference that will take place October 19 - 21, 2007

marion 1 marion 2

Marion Institute

Founded in 1992, the Marion Institute seeks to engage the widest possible number of people in seeing, connecting and participating in new ways that best support their own lives, and those of the wider community at large. We believe in the interdependence of all life and the critical balance necessary for a sustainable future.

The Marion Institute introduces a innovative models for creating deep and positive change, empowering individuals by connecting them to these programs, thus encouraging effective transformation. We believe that when individuals are offered practical and visionary solutions, they become inspired, realize their potential and will act to restore a healthier balance.

Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established in 1982 by resource analysts L. Hunter Lovins and Amory B. Lovins. RMI brings a unique perspective to resource issues, guided by the following core principles:


Biologically Inspired Product Development at the University of Maryland

The many sources of biological inspiration span all natural structures and organisms and the areas of application reach to all branches of science and engineering. As a result, there are countless research efforts being made, each focusing on a very specified task. The objective of this website is to collect, organize, and categorize all such information into a form that will be useful for both practicing engineers and engineering students that are working in or studying product development. The collected knowledge will appear in two distinct forms.

Database A searchable database of bio-inspired engineering knowledge will be created that catalogs examples of biologically inspired research for both the design and manufacturing of engineered products and devices. Each entry will be described in detail, including the following:

  • Source of the biological inspiration
  • Description of the engineered component, material, or process
  • Current status of development
  • Related websites and pictures

Instructional material The knowledge being gathered here will also be formulated into presentations to be used as instructional material. In order to integrate bio-inspired research into the future of product development, engineering students must be exposed to this knowledge in their undergraduate engineering curriculum. Therefore, many presentations will be developed that cover a variety of aspects of bio-inspired research, such as bio-inspired materials, bio-inspired manufacturing, bio-inspired design concepts, etc. These presentations can then be used as lecture material to cover a section on bio-inspired engineering in a variety of engineering classes, such as those on materials, manufacturing, or design.


The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE)
Colorado State University

The Institute for the Built Environment, founded in 1994 at Colorado State University, is a multidisciplinary research institute whose mission is to foster stewardship and sustainability of the built environment through a research-based, interdisciplinary educational forum.
Built environment refers to the totality of all that humans have changed or rearranged within the natural environment. (Bartuska and Young, 1996

Focusing on stewardship and sustainability, the goals of the IBE are to:

  • Optimize and reflect nature in built environments
  • Encourage human equality and cultural sensitivity in the design process and products of the built environment
  • Promote understanding and collaboration among the disciplines and allied professions that shape the built environment
  • Create a leading-edge, multidisciplinary knowledge base for sustainability issues in the built environment

The Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies
University of Bath

TRIZ - integration of biology into a method for generic and systematic innovation. The increasing realization that biology has much to offer other disciplines has hardly been developed in engineering. We have analyzed and characterized the structures, materials and mechanisms of living organisms in such a way that they can be incorporated into a powerful problem-solving tool developed in Russia: TRIZ (the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). The expected outcome will be better problem solving in both engineering and biology, and the underpinning of the interfacial area where biological computing and bio-mechatronics are being developed. Papers are available for download in the Bibliography section, and we organize workshops for academics and industry.[Julian Vincent, Olga Bogatyreva, Nikolay Bogatyrev, Anja-Karina Pahl].

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European Space Agency

Biomimetics is a scientific and technical discipline finding inspiration in biological systems to define new engineering solutions. It is a multi-disciplinary subject involving a wide diversity of other domains like electronics, informatics, medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and many others. This discipline has already shown the way to number of innovations and improvements in space engineering.

There are many other cases in which the design of space systems could benefit from this methodology. However up to now no systematic approach has been followed to find them out, and this is the reason why ACT, in cooperation with other experts inside and outside ESA will carry out activities in this area. The objective will be to provide space engineers with means to access more simply Natures solutions, which will potentially yield more efficient and innovative design solutions of space systems.

biomimicry defined

Nature's Operating Instructions

edited by Kenny Ausubel
and J.P. Harpignies

Natures Opereating

"Here are fascinating and hopeful narratives about the 'true' biotechnologies--constructed wetlands for remediation of old mine sites, plants that suck heavy metals out of contaminated soils, biomimicry as a strategy for human survival. Equally riveting (but terrifying) are the descriptions of burgeoning world consumption that threaten species, environments and cultures."--Shambhala Sun

human plus nature

...much of the human search for a coherent and fullfilling existence is intimately connected to our relationship with nature.

Stephan R. Kellert
ga tech logo

CBID is an interdisciplinary center for research and development of design solutions that occur in biological processes. Founded in 2005, It is one of more than 100 interdisciplinary research units funded at Georgia Institute of Technology