Biomimicry Labs are collaboratives initiated by Biomimicry LA as a leading member of the global biomimicry network. Each Lab applies nature’s strategies for innovation in Food, Water, Energy and Economic Systems and is comprised of diverse experts in the respective fields to hands-on create innovations with commercialization opportunities.
All four in concert address at least nine of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including: Clean Water & Sanitation (6), Renewable Energy (7), Innovation & Infrastructure (9), Sustainable Cities & Communities (11), Responsible Consumption (12), Climate Action (13), Life Below Water (14), Life on Land (15), and Partnerships for the Goals (17).
The Food Lab is focused primarily on regenerative agriculture as well as the broader promise that any green space with healthy soil holds for carbon sequestration now popularly referred to as drawdown.
Keystones Marty Meisler and Anne LaForti are leading the discussion and development, currently deep-diving everything from the biological science to the cultural and political opportunities and barriers. Colin Mangham also recently participated in the Kiss the Ground Ambassador training and we are collectively adopting that perspective and approach at the core.
The Water Lab is currently focused on river pollution, specifically plastics. Our current project looks to solve for plastic pollution in the LA River, for which we submitted an extensive proposal for a $3 million grant to be awarded later this year. Leading into this, earlier this year we were accepted into the Incubator for the Acumen Unilever Social Innovation Challenge targeting plastics, for which we developed and proposed systems to help wastepickers in and around Delhi, India create economic opportunities from what are currently considered low- and no-value plastics picked from landfills and the Yamuna river.
For the LA River project, we’ve formed partnerships with leading organizations necessary to do the highest quality work in this space, including: 5 Gyres Institute, Titus MRF Services, Meridian Institute, Creative Machines, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, 72 and Sunny, UC Riverside, and PAX Scientific (one of the world’s leading biomimetic innovators). We’ve received some early and positive feedback from LA County Public Works, with whom we’ve shared some initial views of our design and engineering concepts pursuant to next steps on permits we’ll need to get prototypes into the water.
The Energy Lab is developing ways to capture, transfer, and store regenerative energy from man-made mechanisms and nature-made processes. Lab keystone Eric Skaggs,notably a former science educator, is leading discussion and development of a range of opportunities including a nanogenerator system designed to harvest triboelectric energy through two separate but integrated approaches conceptually inspired by firefly tails.
The Economics Lab, with keystone Andrew Paden, serves as a strategic management lead for biomimetic design at the intersection of regenerative ecosystem management, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk management. Leading with behavioral economics and design strategy, the Lab is grounded in human-centered design, strategic foresight/futures studies, responsible innovation, and cultural inquiry.
Capabilities of the Economics Lab include flexible skill sets in economics, financial analysis, social science, and other project management and policy decision support tools. Importantly, the Lab possesses an understanding of how Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services approaches can direct capital investment to ecosystem-based projects with the highest potential for storing carbon, regenerating landscapes, and addressing the effects of climate change on the most socioeconomically vulnerable populations.
Economic skill sets allow for the management of complex, regional programs and oversight of needed analytic frameworks such as socioeconomic vulnerability analysis, modeling of socioenvironmental systems, stakeholder analysis, and gender analysis.