Using Nature's Design Principles to Create a Radically Sustainable Food System

Winners Announced for food system-focused biomimicry innovation challenge
Jun 21, 2016 2:00 PM ET

June 21, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Hundreds of students and professionals answered the call to help fix our broken food system by looking to nature to create design solutions. Now, after receiving 86 submissions from 18 countries, the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge judges have chosen ten winning teams to receive cash prizes and, for some, the chance to bring their biomimetic solution to market and compete for the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize.

A team of high school girls from Ontario, Canada, has captured first prize in the student category by looking to organisms that can survive in water-scarce regions for inspiration for their design, a water-capture device. In the open category, seven winning teams have been chosen to receive a cash prize and an invitation to enter the 2016-17 Biomimicry Accelerator, which culminates in the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize. Their innovations include a photosynthetic membrane to extract more nutrients from compost by mimicking bacteria, an app that emulates how ants communicate to help reduce food waste, and a device that makes it possible for city dwellers to capture, store, and distribute rainwater for hyperlocal food production. A full list of the winners can be found here.

“This year’s group of finalists for the Ray of Hope Prize are incredibly diverse,” says John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “Each team’s design focuses on a different challenge in our broader food system, emphasizing two realities. First, opportunities for innovation are abundant throughout that system. Second, biomimicry is the right design tool to bring these innovations to life.”

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