Join us! There are lots of ways to get involved.

Compete for prizes, mentor aspiring innovators, or make the challenge part of your teaching. Check out all of the opportunities below.




Share your expertise


Teach with the challenge


Whether you are looking for a way to get started learning biomimicry, want to put your biomimicry skills to the test, or already have an innovation in development that you hope to advance in the Accelerator program, the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge has a place for you. We offer two categories for entry, a variety of tools and resources to help you learn and apply biomimicry, and access to mentors to support you along the way.

Register and start forming your team today. Registration is free—you'll pay an entry fee only if you choose to submit a design and compete for prizes. Learn more about eligibility and categories of entry on the Rules and FAQs page.

Share your expertise

Are you a subject matter expert with experience in biomimicry, food industry, agriculture, business model planning, engineering, biology, design, materials science, systems thinking, entrepreneurship, or related topics? Is your non ­profit, social enterprise, or company interested in sharing knowledge to support teams of innovators in solving critical challenges in our food system? Super! We'd love to talk with you.

To support the success of our challenge and shepherd the most viable solutions to market, we are seeking knowledge partners who can provide inspiration, mentorship, and real ­world relevance to our participants.

The following opportunities are available:

  • Provide/curate resources: In order to design solutions that work, it's important that teams have a good understanding of the food system and its challenges and opportunities. Help us give them that perspective by providing access to top­ quality reading materials or multimedia resources. Let us know what you can offer.
  • Present a webinar: The Institute hosts a series of support webinars throughout the Global Challenge. Let us know what expertise you can share.
  • Mentor a team: Mentors can contribute in many ways and you can self­ select the amount of time to commit and how you prefer to support participating teams. We are especially in need of mentors who can answer general questions about biomimicry, support teams' design process, and answer biological and technical questions. Learn more about becoming a mentor.
  • Support the Accelerator: Teams that advance from the design concept competition to the Accelerator phase benefit greatly from in­ house incubation or partnership with relevant enterprises. Contact us if you would like to be part of our matchmaking process.
  • Participate in the judging process: Our judging process involves two phases of selection—a preliminary round that narrows the field, and a final round that examines the top projects with greater rigor at a live event. Let us know if you can help us review entries.

Teach with the Challenge


The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge offers high school and university educators an exciting platform for teaching biomimicry.

We've found that design challenges are an excellent way to teach and learn biomimicry. Hands ­on and project­ oriented, team challenges help students develop research, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, and biomimicry itself provides a new way for students to engage with biology, engineering, and design topics. Challenge topics focus on critical real ­world problems that can also help educators situate their teaching in the context of important social and environmental issues.

For example, teachers at San Diego's Kearny High School incorporated the 2015 Food Systems challenge into their curriculum. Learn more about their story here.

What does the challenge offer educators and their students?

  • Detailed Challenge Brief -­ Our design briefs are suitable as a framework for a semester or year ­end project.
  • Theme Resources ­- We work with knowledge and media partners to provide references and information about our selected Challenge topics.
  • Biomimicry Resources ­- The Biomimicry Toolbox and AskNature provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the goals and methods of biomimicry, and a library of biological strategies for inspiration. Both resources are suitable as a guide for students' self­ education, or as a resource that can be used as part of a class. We also offer a webinar series developed to support participants through every stage of the biomimicry design process.
  • Motivation ­- Challenge winners will be featured in high profile media, will have access to biomimicry experts and mentors, and can compete for cash prizes and other awards, including the $100,000 “Ray of Hope" grand prize (if entering in the Open category).