Lecture: Global Biomimicry Conference 12/11 University Utrecht

How does nature repel bacteria

“Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.”

Interest in bio-inspiration and biomimicry is rising globally, and in Europe in particular. It is widely recognised that bio-inspiration and biomimicry have the potential to support a transition to a circular economy and that is why Utrecht University organises the Global Conference ‘Biomimicry and Bio Inspired Innovation’ in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the BiomimicryNL foundation, the Biomimicry Institute, and the European Biomimicry Alliance.

The conference explores what is needed to generate more impact where it concerns solving major global challenges. How can we regenerate our economies, societies and bio-sphere? The conference is not only a platform for the exchange of ideas between science and business, but aims to actively stimulate and facilitate new collaborations between all participants.

The overarching theme of the conference is (re)generate! We need to regenerate the ecological systems that provide us with most of our wealth, and we need to learn how to design, govern, and maintain systems that can regenerate themselves and function as part of nature, not on top of nature. Additionally, the word ‘generate’ has clear connotations with (future) generations. In the words of Dutch state secretary of education Sander Dekker during the opening of this academic year at Utrecht University: “We are the last generation that can make a difference.”

The conference has four broad themes, each with four subjects: biomimicry, biology research, bio inspired innovation, and methods & tools.

  • Food & Water from packaging of perishables to dealing with eutrophication of water;
  • Energy & Materials from heat management to material function through structures;
  • Ecosystems & Built Environment from how to revive our coasts damaged by ports to ecological performance indicators;
  • Economy & Organisations from realising circular economies to rethinking financial institutions and social innovation.

We welcome innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, decision makers, designers, and anyone else interested in biomimicry and bio-inspired innovation.

Text source: University of Utrecht