SDC2013-winnerCivil engineering graduate students from the University of Toronto took first prize in Round 1 of this year’s Biomimicry Student Design Challenge. Their design, “Removal of Air Entrained in Water,” was inspired by fish gills, and could potentially increase water delivery efficiency, decrease water-borne illness, and lower wastewater operating costs.

The judges awarded second place to the team from Artesis University College Antwerp for their “Time Capsule” design, which provides a low-cost way to preserve fruits and vegetables post-harvest, and third place to students from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile for their “Fog Farming Design System,” an agricultural solution for water-wise farming in the Atacama Desert. This year’s Autodesk Sustainability Workshop award went to the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mexico for their water collection design.

Participants in Round 2, which include the winners of Round 1 as well as other promising teams, will now compete for up to $11,000 in prizes. These teams will receive live mentoring from StartupNectar, a biomimicry business incubator, and will refine their designs for consideration for the competition’s $10,000 Grand Prize and $1,000 People’s Choice Award. Those awards will be given at the Institute’s annual Biomimicry Education Summit and Global Conference, to be held in Boston, MA, June 21-23, 2013.

Visit the winners’ gallery to see how these brilliant young minds from around the world used biomimicry thinking to solve their design challenges. You can also see all 68 entries in the main gallery.

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