Biomimicry Global Design Challenge 2015-2016

Publish Date: Feb 29, 2016

Deadline: May 11, 2016

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition that invites people around the world to address critical sustainability issues using nature as a guide.

Every two years, the Biomimicry Institute selects a key sustainability issue as a broad theme and focus for the Global Challenge. The theme for the 2015 and 2016 editions is "Food Systems".

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


There are two categories for entering the challenge: A student-only category (high school and university) and an Open category, which teams of any composition can enter. Judging and prizes are category specific. Only entries submitted in the Open category can advance to the Accelerator phase.


• Early bird rate (by 31 March 2016): Student 40 USD, Open 100 USD.
• Standard rate: Student 50 USD, Open 120 USD


Open worldwide to students and professionals. Please note: this is a competition based on teams of 2 to 8 persons (individual entries will not be accepted). Each team may submit only one entry.


Up to 10 finalists teams will be invited to participate in the Accelerator Program and compete for the 100,000 USD "Ray of Hope" Prize.

All finalists also receive business training and/or incubation support, mentorship support, access to software tools, and legal support as part of the awards package. Up to two members from each team receive travel support to the SXSW Eco conference where they will pitch to potential investors and advisors, network with biomimicry and startup communities, and attend an awards ceremony. Total awards package for each finalist team is valued in excess of 8,000 USD.

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