5 Companies Using Biomimicry to Solve Issues in Bluetech

Per Merriam-Webster’s definition, biomimicry is the imitation of natural biological designs or processes in engineering or invention. Now more than ever we are seeing scientists examine nature, its systems and processes, and use that as inspiration for innovative and sustainable ways of solving human problems. Biomimicry is a cutting-edge solution to address sustainability issues in the oceans and beyond, and we’re on board.

Here are 5 companies who have set out to use biomimicry to solve bluetech problems:

1. Sharklet is the world’s first technology to inhibit bacterial growth through pattern alone.

A shark’s skin is comprised of dermal denticles. The unique shape and pattern of the dermal denticles allows sharks to be more resistant to fouling organisms in the water, including algae and barnacles. The Sharklet surface is comprised of millions of microscopic features arranged in a distinct diamond pattern. The structure of the pattern alone inhibits bacteria from attaching, colonizing and forming biofilms. Sharklet contains no toxic additives or chemicals, and uses no antibiotics or antimicrobials. Learn more about their use of biomimicry here.

2. Calera has a CO2 capture and conversion technology that couples environmental sustainability with economic sustainability.

Calera found a way to mimic how marine organisms capture CO2 and turn it into calcium carbonate. Their process for CO2 reduction involves the capture of CO2 into a novel calcium carbonate cement system that is then used to make a variety of building material products. Using this technology, Calera is making it possible to produce “green” construction materials with added performance characteristics, such as weight and strength, all while actively reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

3. Glowee has turned to bioluminescence to make lighting more sustainable and healthier for both humans and the environment.

Glowee is working to reinvent light production by using technology that already exists in nature. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by certain living organisms (fireflies, glow-worms, and more than 80% of marine organisms). They are improving these bioluminescent microorganisms to make them more efficient in terms of light production (intensity, stability, efficiency).

4. The Shellworks is upcyling lobster shells to create an alternative to single use plastics.

Lobster shells, among other seafood waste, contains chitin, an abundant biopolymer, which they’re hoping can be used as an alternative to single use plastics. Behind the scenes at The Shellworks, a series of machines extract, form and recycle the material, which could be used to replace a significant amount of the single use plastic we use every day. Check out all of the unique machines they use here.

5. Aquaai is using a robotic fish to save our seas.

Fish farmers constantly face the challenges of unused feeds and fecal waste (among other things). Meanwhile, the use of antibiotics and pesticides that aquaculture sometime uses can have adverse effects on the marine environment. But a startup called Aquaai is hoping to solve this pollution problem using a new kind of robotic fish. The company's invention uses predictive analytics, AI, VR, computer vision and biomimicry to surface precise data that can allow fish farmers to make smarter decisions while saving time, money, and the environment.

Do you know of any other companies, startups, or entrepreneurs using biomimicry to solve problems and transform our environment? We’d love to hear from you: https://sea-ahead.com/contact.

Hannah Armstrong