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
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
usefulness and usability.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Supervisor, Advanced Tech. Group & Senior Research Scientist
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
The Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, was founded in 1990,
when Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons @http://www.bioneers.org/bios 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
Marin Center, San Rafael, CA, October 20-22, 2006:
Learn about the speakers at the 2006 Bioneers plenary session
held at the
University of Massachusetts, October 20-22, 2006:
for the Third Annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change
conference that will take place October 19 - 21, 2007
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.
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
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
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
list of projects |
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
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.