#Biomimicry: inspiration is everywhere…

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Bringing ideas to life.

Each year 5-10 finalists in the Open category of the Global Design Challenge are invited to participate in the Challenge Accelerator program.

Designed to help biomimetic solutions advance beyond the concept stage, the BGDC Accelerator is an intensive 6-9 month program during which the teams continue to develop their design concepts and market strategy utilizing business training, mentorship, and legal support provided by the Institute and its partners. At the end of the Accelerator one team is awarded the $100,000 “Ray of Hope” prize, endowed by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

The Accelerator’s first cohort of teams was selected during the 2015 Food Systems Challenge. Browse their entries in the Submissions Gallery, or learn about the Accelerator and participating teams on the Biomimicry Institute website.

The next cohort will be selected from submissions to the 2016 Food Systems Challenge.


Food. It’s not just the way we fuel our bodies, but perhaps the most intimate way we interact with our environment. Everything we eat comes from nature, and begins as something growing on land or at sea. While our food is rooted in a vast chain of ecological relationships, it’s also part of an increasingly complex and problematic system of our own design. It’s a system that has resulted in depleted soils, landfills full of packaging waste and uneaten food, and dependence on expensive inputs, like chemical fertilizers—all while nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. From seed (or sea) to table and everywhere in between, there’s a lot we need to improve.

The good news is that healthy ecosystems are models of abundance, fertility, and resiliency, and taking cues from nature can help us make the improvements we need. Whether addressing waste, growing methods, pest management, packaging, preservation and distribution, soil quality, or a changing climate, nature offers innumerable strategies for solving issues around food and agriculture in innovative ways. And nature does so while supporting biodiversity and minimizing water use, energy use, and waste.

Look to the abundance of lessons nature has to offer and develop a biomimetic design that solves an important food system challenge while supporting the health of our planet.

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