Potentials and Trends in Biomimetics

Written in 2010 by Arnim von Gleich, Christian Pade, Ulrich Petschow and Eugen Pissarskoi, "The purpose of this study is to take an in-depth look at the most important trends and potentials of biomimetics as a basis of science and engineering development and innovation and to assess the standing of biomimetics research and development in different countries with the focus on Germany."

Sections include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Trends in biomimetics
  3. Technological aspects of learning from nature
  4. Topics, actors, and research networks – results of literature and patent analyses
  5. Biomimetics and innovation
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Annex

So far I have read sections 2 and 3.  The book seems to be a survey of the biomimetic landscape rather than exploring the challenges of doing biomimetics.  I will post notes to the shared zotero bibliography once I have finished the book.

You may be able to find a downloadable PDF of the book if you have access to a university digital library.


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nhoeller's picture

Notes on 'Potentials and Trends in Biomimetics'

Brief notes on the book are available at https://www.zotero.org/groups/bid_community/items/itemKey/V88CZARR (scroll down to the bottom and click on Notes).  More detail is available to members of the zotero BID Community group (see zotero and Shared Bibliographies).

Although the emphasis is on biomimetics in Germany with a limited discussion of the actual process of doing biomimetics, the book provides a wealth of data and references along with broad insights (although somewhat skewed towards technological solutions).  The book talks about the strong appeal of biomimetics, giving it a positive public image with few negative connotations.  We are attracted emotionally due to our fascination with nature but this can also cause us to overlook the challenges and realities. 

Biomimetics also has a strong normative component in terms of being based on 'tried and true' solutions that are novel, ecologically appropriate and less risky.  However, these attributes cannot be assumed.  If we copy from nature (limited abstraction), the results may be difficult to implement or deliver limited value.  If we extract and abstract key components, it may be difficult to demonstrate that our solutions are 'tried and true' and it may even be hard to show 'traceability' back to the inspiration.

In addition to exploring where biomimetics has had an influence and who the key actors are, the book goes into considerable depth on the challenges and opportunities facing disruptive innovation in general and biomimetics in specific.

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