Globalni Design Izazov 2021

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition  for the  teams of students to use nature inspired solutions to address global challenges we now face.

In 2021, our six month long program will prepare students to create nature-inspired innovations in alignment with UN Sustainable Development goals. They will be lead through the process from the idea inception through to design process and finally practical steps on how to turn their ideas into the reality and make it profitable. Winning Teams will have a chance to join the prestigious Biomimicry Launchpad incubator program where winning teams will have a chance to learn more about commercialization and development of their biomimicry start up designs.

2021 Challenges

Using nature as your guide and your mentor, students will be encouraged to use their ingenuity and think creatively to problem solve and develop their scientific skills to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time. This round, the team will rally around UN Sustainability Goals and select one of the below challenges to address.

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

  • Ensure sustainable food production systems
  • Implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production and also help maintain ecosystems, strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change and other disasters, and progressively improve land and soil quality.
  • Read more about this goal here.

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

  • Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • Improve water quality by reducing pollution and untreated wastewater and  increasing recycling and safe reuse
  • Increase water-use efficiency across all sectors
  • Expand international cooperation and capacity-building in water and sanitation-related activities including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies.
  • Read more about this goal here.

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

  • Substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, including clean cooking fuels for billions of people
  • Provide access to clean and efficient energy for the 13 percent of the global population that still lacks modern electricity
  • Read more about this goal here.

Build resilient infrastructure and promote inclusive sustainable industrialization

  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable and environmentally sound4
  • Read more about this goal here.

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing, transportation and basic services
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • Significantly reduce the number of people affected by disasters, including water-related disasters
  • Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • Read more about this goal here.

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources

  • Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • Minimize and address impacts of ocean acidification
  • Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans.
  • Read more about this goal here.

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

  • Ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services
  • Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types: Combat desertification and deforestation and restore degraded land and soil
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and prevent extinction of threatened species
  • Read more about this goal here.

Examples of Previous Entries

Here are the examples of  2020 Finalists Team entries:

Sensitive wall — Increasing traffic noise and rising heat caused by climate change negatively affect 55% of the global population living in urban areas. Inspired by concave-eared torrent frogs, mimosa leaves, and desert snails, this team designed a green noise barrier and sunshade system that aims to improve urban living conditions by providing a dynamic natural sound proofing system and elevation greenery to urban landscapes.

BottleBricks was designed to address the growing problem of lack of adequate housing for refugees in camps. Mimicking the triangular corrugated shape of Saharan silver ant hairs and still air trapped within silk cocoons, along with the interlocking structure of nacre (mother of pearl), this interlocking bottle system can be used to improve existing shelters to better protect against cold, warm, and wet weather conditions.

Elightra — Powered by solar panels that are protected by hard outer shells like a ladybug’s elytra, or wing cases, ELIGHTRA is an environmentally-friendly lighting design that helps build resilient communities. This innovative, community-focused solution could provide light and energy to refugees living in “temporary” camps, bringing displaced peoples together within temporary settlements.

Methanolite — Human contributions to methane emissions often overwhelm natural methane sinks and contribute to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. This team from the University of Calgary is working to tackle this problem head-on by emulating the way certain bacteria (methanotrophs) metabolize methane. Methanolite converts methane to methanol through the use of a  zeolite catalyst without the emission of carbon dioxide.

MyOak public market — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team that created MyOak Public Market asked how they could cultivate a more connected and responsive food system network to ensure food access during times of crisis. Inspired by the Chesapeake Forest in their own backyard, they designed a reciprocal online platform to increase food access for vulnerable populations as well as the economic potential of local food producers.

nutriBarrier — Agricultural runoff is a major source of excess nutrients in waterways that can lead to harmful algal blooms and oxygen depletion. nutriBarrier is designed to be deployed around crops to reduce this runoff while also ensuring a slow release of fertilizer. Made from materials inspired by the protective strategies of hagfish and frogs, this barrier can be woven around individual plants in a helix pattern, using materials economically while protecting and watering each plant.

Pranavayu — Mimicking the slender shape of floral stamens along with the electrical and structural properties of a spiderweb, Pranavayu is an air filtration system designed to improve the health and livelihoods of rickshaw drivers in Delhi, India. This filter’s electrostatically charged metal meshes are designed to optimize the capture of pollutants, allowing the driver to breathe clean air.

 Ricochet — The WHO associates ambient air pollution from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) with a broad spectrum of acute and chronic illness; and in 2016, it was responsible for 4.2 million deaths globally. RICOCHET aims to reduce PM2.5 by improving current particulate matter filters used on vehicles. With its manta-mimicking structure, RICOCHET resists clogging, consumes low energy, and possesses high filtering efficiency at the same time.

Tubes, Blades, Mesh, Oh My! — Noting that coastal regions are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to storm intensification and rising sea levels, this team from Northeastern University designed novel seawall retrofits to improve coastal resiliency. Taking inspiration from seagrass and mangroves, this three-part design can be tailored to conditions at a specific location.