About the Biomimicry Institute



We are on a mission to help solve humanity’s biggest challenges through the adoption of biomimicry (nature-inspired innovation) in education, culture, and industry.


For eons, nature has solved its problems with well-adapted designs, life-friendly chemistry, and smart material and energy use. We exist to shine a light on nature’s genius, and bridge pressing design challenges with proven biological strategies for a better future.

Our initiatives across educationinnovation, inspiration, and systems change have empowered thousands with the tools and training necessary to create a healthier world, and to improve their lives in the process. To amplify our impact, we unite a global network of educators, innovators, changemakers, scientists, and others passionate about solving environmental and social challenges through nature-inspired design.


Our work will not be complete until biomimicry is at the core of the human experience and the sustainable health of the planet is secure.



STEM + Nature = Transformative Learning

We develop biomimicry curriculum, educational programs, and run design challenges to equip K-12 learners with the interdisciplinary tools and mindset they need to address problems using the teachings of nature.

Our Youth Design Challenge for middle and high school students turns learners into nature-inspired makers familiar with Next Generation Science Standards, while our K-5 Education Program utilizes biomimicry principles to boost STEM learning and engagement at a key development stage.


Curiosity + Nature = New Possibilities

We believe a regenerative future starts when we AskNature, so we created AskNature.org, the largest open-source database of biological strategies for sustainable innovation. AskNature bridges the knowledge gap that prevents problem solvers from looking to biology as a source for radically sustainable solutions. With nearly 2,000 expertly-curated strategies and counting, the site is an invaluable tool in our mission to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to discover, learn, and practice biomimicry.


Business + Nature = Sustainable Solutions

Biomimicry Launchpad is a 10-week incubator program that equips help scientists, inventors, and innovators accelerate the growth of biomimetic technology in order to create scalable solutions to systemic environmental and social challenges.

The Ray of Hope Prize identifies the most promising nature-inspired startups in the world—across industry—and accelerates their growth through green business training, brand amplification, and $100,000 in equity-free funding for the winner.

Systems Change

Collaboration + Nature = Transformation

Design for Decomposition is a two-year, multi-million dollar project dedicated to demonstrating scalable new pathways for the ~92 million tonnes of fashion waste discarded annually by embracing true decomposition—the way leaves break down into soil—that builds healthy ecosystems.

The initiative originated from the 2020 Nature of Fashion report, which identified decomposition as a critical part of nature’s material cycles missing from current industrial thinking, and design for decomposition as the quickest route to a regenerative and equitable fashion industry.


“We envision a world in which people view nature not as a warehouse of goods but as a storehouse of knowledge and inspiration.”

– Janine Benyus, founder


Since our founding in 2006, Biomimicry Institute has introduced a powerful way of design thinking to individuals and organizations around the world, made possible by the support and shared commitment of our dedicated donors. Our stewardship of contributions and our emphasis on programmatic impact have allowed us to consistently earn the highest ratings from watchdog groups such as Guidestar and Great Nonprofits.
See our financial reports here.

Meet Our Board, Advisory Council, and Staff

The Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. We envision a world in which people view nature not as a warehouse of goods but as a storehouse of knowledge and inspiration for regenerative solutions. Our goal today is for biomimicry to become a natural part of the design process, to create a new generation of innovators who support all life on this planet.
Meet the team that makes it possible here.

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Support the Next Generation
of Nature-Inspired Innovators

Imagine a world where everything we make is inspired by the natural world. By supporting the Biomimicry Institute you:

  • Help bring biomimicry education to more students and educators
  • Accelerate the growth of more nature-inspired startups and entrepreneurs
  • Increase the number of biological strategies and resources on AskNature.org and across our entire organization.

Tap into nature: