Written by Elizabeth Villa (Fermanian Business Center)
It is astounding what can be learned from simply observing nature. Some of the most noted inventions, solutions, and creative ideas in recent history can be attributed to simply doing that. Knowing this it is no surprise that the discipline of “Biomimicry” is based on the premise of studying nature’s best ideas and imitating the designs and processes to solve human problems.
There is a lot of interest in the biomimicry field right now, an abundance of questions and not as many answers. Dr. Lynn Reaser, Chief Economist at PLNU, has been dedicating a portion of her time since arriving at Point Loma in August to answering some of these questions. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Reaser this week, and approach the interview from a business/economics perspective. Below are some of the highlights of our interview.
Q. Where do you see the biomimicry industry going in the next 10 years?
A: Biomimicry is likely to explode in the next ten years as industry embraces it in a rapid expansion of applications ranging from health care to electronics. As firms adopt more natural solutions for products and processes, it provides the potential to both grow the economy and protect the environment.
Q: What do you predict biomimicry role to be in the current economy?
A: Biomimicry currently is a tiny fraction of the total economy. In fact, it is not even defined as an industry. It is presently defined as “one-off” cases, where scattered applications are found in a limited number of firms around the world.
Q: What is biomimicry’s potential for college students and soon to be college graduates?
A: Although tiny now, biomimicry could be one of the most dynamic and rewarding fields for college graduates during the next decade. A variety of skill sets will be in demand, including engineering, chemistry, biology, medicine, marketing, finance, and business.
Q: How will we see the effects of biomimicry in our own community?
A: The San Diego Zoo is positioning itself to be the biomimicry hub of the world. The achievement of this objective would attract large amounts of capital, jobs, and talent to the region, while further enhancing its prestige.
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