Global Biomimicry Efforts An Economic Game Changer

Biomimicry, the discipline of applying nature’s principles to solve human problems, provides the means to achieve both environmental and economic goals. Many of the mechanisms and systems found in nature are highly efficient, eschew waste, and are sustainable in a virtually closed system. Biomimicry could be a major economic game changer.

While the field today is just emerging, in 15 years biomimicry could represent $300 billion annually of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 dollars. It could provide another $50 billion in terms of mitigating the depletion of various natural resources and reducing CO2 pollution. Biomimicry could account for 1.6 million U.S. jobs by 2025. Globally, biomimicry could represent about $1.0 trillion of GDP in 15 years.

Two very different approaches are followed in the use of biomimicry. In some cases, scientists see an interesting concept in nature and then find a commercial application. In other instances, firms are seeking a solution to a specific problem and find an answer in the natural world.

Firms selling biomimicry-inspired products in the marketplace have frequently seen a doubling of sales annually in the early years. Many of these products can offer customers reduced energy requirements, less waste, and enhanced performance while being sold at prices competitive with or even less than those of existing products.

Commissioned by San Diego Zoo Global
Researched and produced by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute.

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