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Many people think that great ideas and solutions to big problems come from a Eureka moment. Archimedes sitting in a bath or Newton sitting under an apple tree for example. But most of the time the path to finding solutions is long, and expensive. Requiring years of research and development, building on previous ideas and testing things until a breakthrough is finally made.

But with a growing number of our environmental problems now in need of solutions more than ever before, we need all the help we can get, in order to design that product or create that process.

Biomimicry is the process of looking to nature for ideas and inspiration on how we can solve human problems and design things that better fit in with life on earth. Taking advantage of 3.8 million years of evolution to give us a ‘jump start’ on research and development.

This could be anything from how to reduce energy use, processing waste or managing water, taking those lessons learned and applying them to problems in the human design world.

In this interview, I speak to Megan Shuknecht who is from the Biomimicry Institute an organisation set up to promote the use of the principles of biomimicry in design and innovation. As Megan will explain, they do this by hosting design challenges, with a launchpad for new businesses and even an award-winning free tool which anyone can access to get inspiration from the natural world.

For more information on The Biomimicry Institute head to: https://www.biomimicry.org

For design challenges: https://www.biomimicry.org/design-challenges

And for AskNature: www.asknature.org

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