August 2009

Monthly Archive

2009 Biomimicry Symposium

Posted by on 15 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry, events

A great list of collaborators and sponsors for the 2009 Biomimicry Symposium  – mark your calendar!

From : “Helen Cheng” <>

The San Diego Zoo and the Biomimicry Institute are pleased to announce the 2009 Biomimicry Symposium in San Diego, presented by mirasol®, a display innovation by Qualcomm.

The symposium will be held Oct. 1-2 in Balboa Park, and online registration will open on Monday, Aug. 17, at 9am PDT.  It is expected to sell out quickly. Please visit for more information and to register.

This 1.5 day symposium will include talks by local and national leaders in the field of biomimicry, as well as a biomimicry bus tour of the San Diego Zoo and an Invention Convention highlighting real examples of nature-based solutions and designs.

Symposium highlights:

1. Our featured speakers include nationally-renown experts, Janine Benyus, Jay Harman and Chip Heath.
– Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.  She recently was awarded a UN Champion of the Earth Award presented by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
– Jay Harman is a serial entrepreneur and inventor. His latest company, PAX Scientific, uses nature’s streamlining geometries to design energy efficient, quiet, and ecologically friendly technology.
– Chip Heath is a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research examines why certain ideas survive and prosper in the social marketplace of ideas, and he co-authored the best-selling book titled Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.
Our Education panel features an international group of educators who have taught biomimicry both formally and informally. They will provide practical insight and advice on biomimicry education.
Our Business panel includes members of the business and government community who have been involved in the development of biomimetic inventions and can talk about the practical aspects of commercializing nature-based products.
2. Our presenting sponsor is mirasol®, a display innovation by Qualcomm.  Additional sponsors include Jump Associates, Bioneers, Pax Scientific, InterfaceFLOR, Charles & Diane Smith, Corning, UCSD Sustainability Solutions Institute, UCSD Rady School of Management, UCSD Division of Biological Sciences, and UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Conference partners include the City of San Diego, Envision Solar, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego State University, and the UCSD von Liebig Center.  For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Helen Cheng at or 619-557-3927.

3. Participants will be treated to a special biomimicry bus tour of the San Diego Zoo, then stroll through a mini Invention Convention to see real examples of biomimetic designs and products. If you have biomimetic technology and would like to exhibit your product in this Invention Convention, please contact Helen Cheng at or 619-557-3927.

4. Scholarships will be available on a limited basis to students, educators and non-profit organizations. Please visit to download an application form.

We hope to see you there!

Energy Scavenging Synthetic Leaf

Posted by on 03 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry

figure sporangium

The Maharbiz Group at UC Berkeley has a long-term vision is to engineer devices and materials directly from living precursors – in other words biomimicry. First published a few years ago, the work has now found its way into NewScientist.

Inspired by the transport of water in plants, we resently presented a synthetic, microfabricated ‘leaf’ which can scavenge electrical power from evaporation-driven flow via a charge pump embedded in the ‘stem’. In the device, evaporation at the surface of the device produces flow in microfabricated vasculature.  Continued at

Additional introductory info at