IIT-Madras announces course on biomimicry

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) on Monday announced introduction of a full semester course under the interdisciplinary stream on biomimicry.

Biomimicry has immense potential not only in engineering, technology and design but also in areas like management, human resources, administration, social sciences and the arts, the IIT-M said.

According to the institute, biomimicry means to imitate or look at nature as a source of inspiration to resolve complex problems. It is the intersection of biology and engineering.

Examples of modern engineering inspired by biomimicry include the ‘Shinkansen’ bullet train in Japan, inspired by the kingfisher; the Eastgate Centre in Harare in Zimbabwe inspired by termite mound; and self-filling water flasks inspired by the Namib Desert beetle.

IIT-Madras is among the first few institutions in India to offer a full-fledged course on biomimicry, the Institute said in a statement.

The institute has also created a community of biomimicry enthusiasts who are exploring opportunities in research, entrepreneurship, new products, processes, and systems.

It plans to hold a biomimicry challenge to provoke bold, sustainable ideas from young minds.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals can provide students with challenges, for which they can design solutions using biomimicry.

Schoolchildren can benefit from biomimicry, which not only helps learn innovation from nature but also create a sustainable way of life.