The San Diego Zoo has a new Centre for Bioinspiration, promoting invention based on life’s solutions to practical problems.

Radio station KPBS announced, “San Diego Zoo Will Mimic Nature To Create New Products.”  The zoo will use its practical knowledge of plants and animals to excite corporations to apply the knowledge to invention.  By connecting collaborators with sponsors, they hope to bring useful products to the marketplace.  Examples of animals with biomimetic potential listed in the article include the morpho butterfly, whose wing scales led Qualcomm to improve cell phone displays, and sharks, whose skin led to improved ways for shipbuilders to avoid barnacles.

Reporter Tom Fudge ended with this promising citation: “A study by Point Loma Nazarene University found biomimicry could help the local economy. The study said developing such products had the potential to add 2,100 jobs and $325 million in annual revenues to the San Deigo [sic] region.”  Across the world, the BBC News took notice of this development, headlining, “San Diego Zoo looks to nature to create new gadgets,” noting the design influence of birds, whales and butterflies.  Live Science also reported the news.  “The San Diego Zoo has touted its biomimicry expertise for a few years now,” the article noticed.

Visitors to San Diego Zoo’s Bioinspiration Website can find news and lists of resources for further information.  The Centre’s summer newsletter announced a Bioinspiration Conference for October 2013 in partnership with the Zurich Zoo.  “Imagine medical transportation simplified by looking to the flight of dragonflies, protective body armor inspired by the armadillo shell, or drug delivery improvements inspired by the mosquito,” the announcement reads.  “The natural world represents a tremendous resource for novel and transformative innovation.”….

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