Design, Social Impact

Biomimicry Food Systems Challenge Deadline

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

The Biomimicry Institute is accepting submissions for the Food Systems Challenge until May 11th, 2016.

Entries to the Food Systems challenge must:
–Identify and solve a specific problem within the food system.
–Intentionally emulate one or more mechanisms, processes, patterns, or systems found in nature.
–Enhance the sustainability of the food system, whether from an environmental, social, or economic perspective—or ideally all three.

The Biomimicry Design Challenge, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, is a team competition. You must be part of a team of 2-8 individuals in order to enter. 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 to compete for the $100,000 Ray of Hope prize.

Read more about submission requirements here.

What you choose to focus on within the broad category of the “Food System” is up to you. If you don’t already have a design opportunity in mind, our Reference Collection can help your team narrow this broad challenge into a specific design problem—one with potential for impact and at a scope and scale that is feasible for your team.

In all cases teams should become familiar with and apply the core concepts and methods of biomimicry. How well your design concept emulates nature and how well your entry exhibits a biomimicry design process are both significant factors during judging.

Submission fees and deadlines:
Standard rate: Student Category $50, Open Category $120
Submission deadline: 11 May 2016.

Awards for the 2016 Challenge year will be similar or identical to the 2015 awards, which are detailed below. Updated information will be provided soon.

Open Category
Up to 10 finalists teams will be invited to participate in the Accelerator Program and compete for the $100,000 “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 theSXSW Eco conference (October 4-7, 2015, Austin, TX, USA) 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.

In addition, at the October awards ceremony, the following cash awards will be announced.

First prize: $10,000
Second prize: $7,500
Third prize: $5,000
People’s Choice award: $1,000

Student Category
The following prizes will be awarded in the Student Category:

First Prize – $5,000
Second Prize – $3,000
Third Prize – $1,500
Prizes will be distributed to team leaders. Awardees may receive the funds by US check or via a PayPal account.