Economist’s Corner: Biomimicry Q&A

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.

Learn more about BIOMIMICRY

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature by Janine M. Benyus


One response to “Economist’s Corner: Biomimicry Q&A

  1. This is fascinating stuff!
    I’m a writer for Axiom News, a strength-based, organization-focussed news agency headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
    I’ve been working on a news series about biomimicry and recently interviewed Helen Cheng from the San Diego Zoo who mentioned Lynn Reaser and a team are studying the potential economic impact of biomimicry.
    I’m very interested in connecting with Ms Reaser for a brief news story on this. Can someone let me know whether this is possible?
    The following are the questions I’m hoping to have answered, ideally by Monday, Nov. 16. A response by email is fine as well.
    1. What is the exact focus of the study?
    2. Who is involved?
    3. Can you explain briefly how the study is being conducted?
    4. Can you provide any thoughts on what the outcome of the study might be?
    5. When are the results of the study to be released?
    6. Do you have a vision for the future economic impact of biomimicry and would you be willing to speak to that?

    Thanks in advance!
    Michelle Strutzenberger
    140 King Street, Suite 201
    Peterborough ON K9J 7Z8
    (Canada Only) TF: 800-294-0051 ext. 27
    705-741-4421 ext. 27
    Join Our E-News List!

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