ATLANTA, GA – Atlanta’s own internationally renowned Ray C Anderson Foundation is sponsoring a design challenge through the Biomimicry Institute located in Missoula, Montana. The institute has a longstanding relationship with the foundation and it just made sense to partner on the most important issue to daily life-sustainable food solutions. Today, they release the announcement of their finalists and the invitation to showcase at a special recognition event on October 4, 2015.
The 2015 Global Design Challenge focused on our food system in order to find innovative design methods to improve or recreate current processes by looking at nature. The Biomimicry Institute educates attendees and the general public through workshops and media to mimic nature when building solutions. “Nature’s efficiency is engineering at its finest,” according to Janine Benyus, co-founder, Biomimicry Institute.
Over 1,900 applicants worldwide sent entries for consideration. All of the contestants have a desire to find solutions to feed the planet’s 9 billion occupants using nature’s design principles. A panel of judges have reviewed, selected and invited the finalists to Austin, Texas for recognition. The 2015 Global Design Challenge – Food Systems result gala is being held just prior and in conjunction with the SXSW Eco event October 5-7, 2015.
According to the challenge announcement, over 100 possible projects were identified out of the 1,922 submissions. The finalists over the next year will take their projects and build prototypes, all hoping to become the finalist in 2016. Eight finalist teams were selected for Austin, TX, but only 3 of the 8 will walk away with substantial cash prizes.
The year will be long for the teams as they go on to compete for the $100,000 “Ray of Hope” in the Spring 2016 sponsored by the Ray C Anderson Foundation. The foundation has committed $1.5M to the Global Design Challenge , thus giving a long-life t the possibilities of great innovations. You can check out the finalists projects at the foundation website.
The teams have criteria to meet before their product or innovation hits the market and to receive the ultimate prize. The judging criteria for the prototype round will be as follows:
• Research, depth and application of biological inspiration source(s)
• Concept and product/solution
• Market analysis
• Social and environmental benefit, informed by nature’s unifying patterns
• Financials and profitability
Every year the Global Design Challenge has tackled a different aspect of sustainability and has gained popularity among the sustainability community and the contest encourages two types of entries, the open entry and the student entry. Both the open entry and student entry offers opportunities for creative innovations to be brought to the attention of for-profit and non-profit organizations. The challenge has two important steps; the first year is submitting a design leading into the second year prototype round.
The challenge for all submissions was to look to the abundance of lessons nature has to offer and develop a biomimetic design that solves an important food system challenge while protecting the health of our planet. Next year’s challenge will also focus on our food system, but from a different aspect.
If you missed the August 3, 2015 deadline submission, you have one more chance. The institute is giving another opportunity to enter the contest with the second deadline being April 2016. So get your ideas together and enter.