Biomimicry Global Design Challenge in Climate Change

Submission deadline: April 30, 2017

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The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition that asks teams of students and professionals to address critical global issues with nature-inspired solutions. The challenge is hosted by the Biomimicry Institute, in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies - new ways of living - that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

This year's challenges focuses on design for life: by applying nature's design principles, we can create solutions that help support a healthy planet. Teams are asked to use biomimicry to intervene in the system to help combat, adapt to, and mitigate climate change.

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is a team competition - you must be a part of a team of 2-8 individuals in order to enter. The challenge has two categories: a student-only category (high school and university) and an open category, which any team can enter (including students along with professionals). Entries from individuals will not be considered.

Challenge Scope

  1. All entries in both categories must involve a technology, product, service, or process that addresses a challenge related to the current theme.
  2. The entry must show a clear connection between a biological mechanism, process, pattern, or system, and the technological solution submitted; i.e., the solution must emulate a natural model(s).
  3. Entries must describe an entirely new solution and represent a given team's unique work and intellectual property. If your project has already generated commercial revenues exceeding $100,000, it is not eligible for entry in either category.
  4. While working with a mentor or advisor is not required, the Challenge strongly encourages that teams do so and offers a mentor directory as a resource to help with matchmaking. The directory is only visible to those who are logged in to the challenge platform.


Open Category Prizes: Up to 10 finalist teams will receive a $2,000 award and be invited to participate in the Biomimicry Accelerator program, which begins in October and lasts for a period of one year. Accelerator participants will receive business training and/or incubation support, mentorship support, access to software tools, legal support, and coaching and technical consultations valued in excess of $12,000. At the culmination of the annual Accelerator program, participants will compete for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation's $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize™.

Student Category Prizes: The first place winner will receive $3000. The second place winners will receive $1500 and third place receives $750.

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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
— Chief Seattle