Food Systems Challenge

Food Systems Challenge


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.

Food. It's not just the way we fuel our bodies, but perhaps the most intimate way we interact with our environment. Everything we eat comes from nature, and begins as something growing on land or at sea. While our food is rooted in a vast chain of ecological relationships, it's also part of an increasingly complex and problematic system of our own design. It's a system that has resulted in depleted soils, landfills full of packaging waste and uneaten food, and dependence on expensive inputs, like chemical fertilizers—all while nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. From seed (or sea) to table and everywhere in between, there's a lot we need to improve.

The good news is that healthy ecosystems are models of abundance, fertility, and resiliency, and taking cues from nature can help us make the improvements we need. Whether addressing waste, growing methods, pest management, packaging, preservation and distribution, soil quality, or a changing climate, nature offers innumerable strategies for solving issues around food and agriculture in innovative ways. And nature does so while supporting biodiversity and minimizing water use, energy use, and waste.

For the next two years, the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge will focus on food systems. The competition features two rounds, a design concept round and a prototype round, and includes both Open and Student categories. Select teams from the Open category may go on to compete in the prototype round following the design concept round.

There will be two opportunities to submit design concepts over the course of the Food Systems theme; the first submission deadline is August 3, 2015, and the second will be in April 2016.

Review essential information that pertains to both the Open and Student categories, or learn more about the particulars of each category.