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Biomimicry Design Challenge: Eight Finalists Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s Ray of Hope Prize

Geschreven op 16-7-2017 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Agenda, Design, Klimaat Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

1 July 2018: Game-changing ideas begin by seeing the possibilities for a sustainable world reflected in the living systems that surround us. That’s what we celebrate each year in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge—a competition that asks innovators to create radically sustainable human designs inspired by the natural world.

There are a lot of solutions to celebrate. Eight teams from around the world have been chosen as winners in the 2018 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. In addition to cash prizes, these teams will be invited to join the Biomimicry Launchpad, an accelerator program for early-stage biomimetic start-ups, to work to bring their innovations to market.

At the end of the Launchpad program in September, one team will win the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

FULL CIRCLE, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
This team from Georgia Tech wanted to find a more resilient way to harvest renewable energy, so they created a nature-inspired energy generator that produces clean renewable electricity from underwater sea currents. The design was informed by the bell-shaped body of jellyfish, how schools of fish position themselves, how heart valves move liquid, and how kelp blades are adapted to rapidly flowing water and maximize photosynthesis. Their goal is to create a more efficient way to generate power, decreasing cost, and making this approach available to areas vulnerable to electricity shortage.

HABARI, Utrecht, The Netherlands
This University of Utrecht-based team created an automated, open-source design to protect tea plants from frost damage. Climate change has resulted in more unpredictable night frosts in Kenya, which damages tea plantations and leads to economic losses and unstable incomes for farmers. Inspired by the giant groundsel (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari) and giant lobelia (Lobelia deckenii) plants, both native to Kenya, the team developed HABARI to automatically deploy a mesh where frost deposits, covering the plants and preventing the frost from settling on the leaves. HABARI increases farmers’ resilience to weather conditions, and connects the farms with the local community by using local and sustainable products.

MIST GENERATION + PACE,Taichung City, Taiwan
Graduate students at the Tung Hai University developed the Psephurus Air Cleaner Equipment (PACE) to improve air quality in urban environments. Residents of densely populated cities are at greater risk for health issues due to fine particulate matter in the air. In order to make the air quality in outdoor public spaces better, this team created an air-cleaning device that is incorporated into signage on city buildings. These solar-powered signs have filtering mechanisms inspired by marine creatures like salpidae, paddlefish, and peacock worms, and derived their energy strategy from prairie dog burrows, the Saharan silver ant’s light-reflecting capabilities and more.

ECONCRETE, Tel-Aviv, Israel
This team of marine biologists, engineers, designers, and geologists wanted to develop a better way to create resilience in coastal zones most at risk for climate change-related issues. Current coastal defense systems such as breakwaters, seawalls and revetments, replace natural habitats, creating tremendous pressure on the fragile marine and coastal ecosystems. This team studied natural tide pools, rocky shores and oyster beds to develop a fully functional and constructive coastal defense unit which encourages growth of diverse plants and animals native to the project’s environment.

SOIL EROSION BY NATURE, Chonquing, China
This team worked to develop a way to combat soil erosion problems resulting from the Three Gorges Dam in China—the world’s largest hydropower station. Yearly water fluctuation means that there is a constant erosion problem. The SSE team developed an approach inspired by the kingfisher’s “third eyelid”—a protective, retractable layer that covers the bird’s eyes while it plunges into water. Their device is a mesh structure that covers soil while it is submerged and flushed with water. The device can be retracted after the water level is lowered, ensuring that it will not affect plant growth and damage the ecosystem.

GEN-RAIL, Long Beach, California, U.S.
This California State University at Long Beach team developed Genrail to harness wind generated on urban freeways and convert it into energy, essentially creating a wind farm in an urban environment. This system was developed with Los Angeles in mind but is adaptable to all high-speed roadways. The team replicated the compressible elasticity of the cockroach to create safe impact zones, mimicked the California condor’s wing shape to help create energy harnessing fans, and gathered inspiration from the structure of the desert snail shell to create a system of vacuums aided by the venturi effect propelling the wind forward and providing extra power for the city. Genrail is designed to have a small footprint, be highly efficient, and be easy to produce and implement in cities worldwide.

UPOD, Ithaca, New York, U.S.
This Cornell University team created the UPod, a mosquito-control device inspired by the mechanism of the carnivorous Utricularia vulgaris plant. Higher average temperatures and increased precipitation events due to climate change are contributing to the expanding threat of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Current mosquito-control strategies can be harmful to people and the environment, so this team developed the UPod to be an environmentally friendly, self-sustaining, reusable and affordable solution. Similar to how the Utricularia vulgaris plant traps prey, the UPod is a solar-powered device that pulls water and larvae into a tightly-sealed water chamber by means of a trap door that functions through a smart sensor mechanism. Larvae are suffocated in the water chamber, and then pumped out as new water and larvae are pulled in. UPod can help individuals, communities and nations take control of larvae populations and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

PHALANX INSULATION, Long Beach, California, U.S.
This team, also from California State University at Long Beach, developed a biomimicry-inspired insulation grid meant to be applied to exterior walls of existing buildings. Intended to be used in urban coastal regions like Southern California, this system is designed to reduce interior temperatures of buildings passively without the need for electricity. The system includes three layers. The shade-grid layer has a wavy patterns and reflective surface inspired by the cactus and Saharan silver ant. The air channel layer, inspired by cathedral termites, directs hot air up and out of the system. The capillary layer was inspired by the Saharan camel and wheat, and can collect the morning dew from the air or pull up gray water from an underlying trough. Phalanx requires no electricity, has no moving parts, can be assembled on existing architecture, makes use of otherwise wasted water, and ultimately saves money while it cools.

22 February 2018: The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC) is a flagship challenge, hosted in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
It is an annual competition that invites people to address critical sustainability issues with nature-inspired solutions and is open to students and professionals anywhere in the world.

The theme for 2017-18 is Climate Change: Adaptation, Mitigation and Reversal.

Each year the most promising teams in the open category of the Global Design Challenge are invited to participate in the Biomimicry Launchpad. Designed to help biomimetic solutions advance beyond the concept stage, the Biomimicry Launchpad is an intensive 12-month program that assists teams in further developing their design concepts and market strategy utilizing business training, mentorship, and legal support provided by the Institute and its partners.

At the end of each Biomimicry Launchpad cycle, one team is awarded the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, endowed by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

27 October 2017: NEXLOOP, an international team based in New York City has been awarded the 2017 $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge.

The challenge is an international design competition and accelerator program that crowdsources nature-inspired climate change solutions. Team NexLoop, whose members include Jacob Russo, Anamarija Frankic, and C. Mike Lindsey, was awarded the prize at the National Bioneers Conference.

NexLoop is a biomimetic systems approach and technology linking in-situ water sources with urban food production. Their AquaWeb prototype is an innovative water capture system designed for use in urban food systems, and mimics the way living systems capture, store, and distribute water.

Team NexLoop developed the AquaWeb to help urban local food producers collect, filter, store, and distribute atmospheric moisture with a modular, all-in-one water sourcing and management system. AquaWeb harnesses freely available rain and fog and uses passive strategies to distribute this water so that urban farms, including greenhouses, indoor vertical farms, and container farms, can save energy and become more resilient to disturbances.

16 July 2017: 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 strategies.

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is a team competition. The challenge has two categories: a student-only category (high school and university) and an open category, which any team can enter (including students). Use the Biomimicry Spiral and Toolbox to research and design a solution using biomimicry.

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 2017 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.

Student Categorie Winners: First Place: ExtrACTION – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, US – Second Place: Bioinspired Electric Patch – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland – Third Place: CO2 Efficient Uptake System (CO2EUS) – National Technical University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Technical University of Crete, Greece

Five teams of entrepreneurs from around the world have been chosen to participate in the newest cohort of the world’s only business accelerator program dedicated to bringing nature-inspired solutions to market. The finalists of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator:: Thermosmart – Mexico City, Mexico – Cooltiva – Bogotá, Colombia – B’More BiomiMICAns – Baltimore, Maryland, US – Nucleário – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Refish – Taipei, Taiwan

Over 100 teams entered the 2017 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, answering the call to apply biomimicry, or nature-inspired design, to develop solutions to reverse or adapt to climate change. In the open category, winning teams have been chosen to receive a cash prize and an invitation to enter the 2017-18 Biomimicry Accelerator. At the culmination of the annual Accelerator program, participants will compete for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize.

The 2016-17 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is mobilizing thousands of students and professionals worldwide to tackle climate-related challenges using biomimicry. The goal: to show how nature-inspired design can provide viable solutions to the current climate crisis.

See also: Interface Sustainability Journey: Climb up Mt. Sustainability by Ray Anderson and Mission Zero 2020Biomimicry Explained with Drawings and Examples: What Could We Learn from Nature – AskNature: World’s Most Comprehensive and Accessible Online Catalog of Nature’s Solutions – The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: The Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s Ray of Hope Prize – Biomimicry: A Ground-breaking Vision for Creating a Long-term, Sustainable World – Biomimicry Fall 2018 Youth Design Challenge by Biomimicry Institute – Bioneers 2018 Conference: Revolution From The Heart of Nature

9 Reacties

  1. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:26 | Permalink

    Finalist Team of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator: Thermosmart – Mexico City, Mexico

    This design mimics the qualities of circulatory systems to create a heating and cooling approach that uses 20% less energy than traditional heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems. HVAC systems are incredibly wasteful, with nearly 60% of buildings’ energy consumption allocated to heating and cooling systems. The Thermosmart team looked at how circulatory systems in alligators, elephants, and other species dissipate excess heat, rapidly distribute heat throughout the body, harvest heat from external sources, and utilize internally-generated heat, to create a system that adapts to various conditions. This system uses an automated smart network of low-speed pumps, valves, and sensors that can efficiently manage heating and cooling in medium/high-rise commercial buildings.

  2. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:28 | Permalink

    Finalist Team of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator: Cooltiva – Bogotá, Colombia

    Cooltiva is a system that takes advantage of the wind and the sun to regulate temperatures inside city residences using minimal energy. With over 79% of residential energy usage going towards maintaining comfortable temperatures, Cooltiva incorporates plants into a passive design that is placed in windows, funneling and cooling incoming air. When the wind isn’t blowing hard enough the system turns to an active mode, powered by solar energy, that draws air in and turns itself off when the indoor temperature is optimal. Cooltiva’s design mimics the way leaf-cutter ants’ mounds regulate temperature, the way espeletia plant leaves collect and funnel water to the stem, and the evapotranspiration process of leaves.The goal is to make cities resilient to global warming using renewable and freely available energy.

  3. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:31 | Permalink

    Finalist Team of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator: B’More BiomiMICAns – Baltimore, Maryland, US

    By emulating the mechanisms of blue crab and bay grass and their mutualistic relationship within the ecosystem of Chesapeake Bay, Cool Down B’More is a network that connects low-income communities to designated cool spaces via an affordable transportation system. This idea would increase access to cool spaces for vulnerable populations, connecting them to the right information and transportation, thus reducing the likelihood of heat-related health issues. The design’s three main parts include a 1) Cool Circulator that transports people from hot areas to 2) Cool Stations spread throughout the city, where 3) via a Cool Exchange system, residents and visitors can freely access these stations in exchange for supporting a community volunteer network.

  4. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:33 | Permalink

    Finalist Team of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator: Nucleário – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Inspired by winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter, Nucleário is a reforestation solution that is designed to be used in remote and hard-to-reach areas of the Atlantic rain forest. Currently, 17 million hectares of the Atlantic rain forest are unproductive and abandoned. Traditional forest restoration approaches in remote areas are logistically complex and expensive, requiring manual work and periodic visits to the reforestation areas. The Nucleário is designed to be deployed from the air into degraded areas, helping seedlings grow without requiring human maintenance. Made of biodegradable materials, it ensures that seedlings survive by providing a barrier from ants, collecting water, offering shade, and protecting against invasive species.

  5. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:35 | Permalink

    Finalist Team of The 2017-2018 Biomimicry Accelerator: Refish – Taipei, Taiwan

    The average fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) level in Taiwan is now two times more than World Health Organization standards, which poses serious health risks to people, especially urban commuters. This team looked to how living organisms like baleen whales and African violet leaves collect micro particles to create a device called Refish that can be attached onto vehicles to collect fine particulate matter. By leveraging the movement of vehicles to generate air flow into the collector module, Refish can capture PM2.5 on the road without requiring electricity and motors to pump air like typical air purifiers. With this low cost design, the team hopes to inspire commuters to shift into more eco-friendly behaviors and bring fresh air back to the road.

  6. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:37 | Permalink

    Student Categorie Winner First Place: ExtrACTION – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, US

    This team looked to how nature captures carbon dioxide to create a carbon-scrubbing panel system that can be applied to buildings and other existing infrastructure along freeways and main streets. Inspired by how Phragmites australis, also known as the common reed, distributes air by moving it through different sized hollow stems, this design extracts airborne carbon dioxide by drawing it through reed-like entrances and exits and passing it through a carbon scrubber. The carbon scrubber collects and stores carbon, improving air quality in dense urban environments.

  7. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:40 | Permalink

    Student Categorie Winner Second Place: Bioinspired Electric Patch – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

    This team was inspired by the structure of a silk moth cocoon to design a patch that generates electricity by absorbing heat. The patch is made of compostable materials and directly connects to and recharges electronic devices like smartphones. In addition to mimicking the fibrous, porous matrix of the silk moth cocoon to generate a current, the team also looked to the fire beetle’s ability to detect heat and the ultra-hydrophobic properties of lady’s mantle plant leaves to make elements of the design heat-sensitive and waterproof. While the power produced by this device is limited, if used at a large scale it has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption.

  8. Erik van Erne zegt:

    16 juli 2017 om 15:42 | Permalink

    Student Categorie Winner Third Place: CO2 Efficient Uptake System (CO2EUS) – National Technical University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Technical University of Crete, Greece

    This team created CO2EUS (CO2 Efficient Uptake System), a device that sequesters excess carbon dioxide (CO2) seawater into calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This design emulates coral calcification and the fluid dynamics that lead to CaCO3 deposition. To protect coastal microorganisms and to prevent bioinfestation within the system, the entrance duct is equipped with a bio-filter that was inspired by the baleen of Mysticetes whales. To avoid waste heat, the team looked to thread-waisted wasps to transfer depolluted water back into the ocean after it has been cooled. By sequestering CO2 from the sea, this design aims to enhance the ocean’s capacity to absorb and process CO2, ultimately contributing to the re-stabilization of the carbon cycle.

  9. Erik van Erne zegt:

    23 april 2018 om 15:01 | Permalink

    Biomimicry The Movie

    Biomimicry, the practice of looking deeply into nature for solutions to engineering, design and other challenges, has inspired a film about it’s ground-breaking vision for creating a long-term, sustainable world. This film covers how mimicking nature solves some of our most pressing problems, from reducing carbon emissions to saving water.

    The film, titled “Biomimicry” features Janine Benyus, is brought to you by Leonardo DiCaprio, Executive Producers Oliver Stanton, directed by Leila Conners, produced by Mathew Schmid and Bryony Schwan, created by Tree Media with Executive Producers Roee Sharon Peled and George DiCaprio.

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