Innovative ways to grow food are necessary. The biomimicry food challenge has arrived to the final phase. Eight teams have been selected to prototype their solutions. After eight months of work, they will be competing for the final award. Biomimicry can be a great source of ideas for common problems. Thus, why don’t we use it more?
Winners of the biomimicry food challenge
From the 5th to the 7th of October, the finalist teams have presented their proposals in Austin, Texas. The three winners of the competition are the following ones:
BioNurse. Generating spaces for life (3rd place winner)
Developed by a team from Chile. Soils where crops grow are usually very damaged. The continuous usage of soils to cultivate are reducing the amount of natural nutrients. The project wants to recover the original characteristics of a soil giving back some nutrients. This is achieved using a product called BioNurse. The desired effects are:
- Restore degraded soils carrying: biologically available energy, high and diverse microbiological load, plants with rhizospheres rich in mycorrhizae and detritus generators.
- Create growing levels of food plants community structure with increased complexity and local biodiversity,
- Improve the capacity of moisture retention and accumulation of energy and minerals available to be cycled.
Jube (2nd place winner)
The second prize goes to a team from Thailand. The solution is very different to the previous one. Maybe it wouldn’t be very accepted in some countries. But it can be a good idea for some countries. They have designed a kind of trap for insects. The design is really well thought. Once the insect has gone in, he can’t go out. Insects have a really high content of proteins.
The living filtration system (1st place winner)
Finally, the winners of the biomimicry challenge come from USA. Corn is the most common crop in the United States. Fertilizers and other nutrients are used to boost these corn crop yields. Nevertheless, many of those fertilizers and nutrients go into the surrounding water. Then, they are ultimately throw to the ocean. To avoid it, and to make a better use of these boosters, the team has developed a system to retain nutrients in the soil. Inspired by different organisms such as the earthworm, vili in the small intestine, wetlands and the soil/biotic cycle. The requirements for the solution were:
- Minimal/no maintenance after installing
- It had to serve as a catalyst for changing current farming techniques
- It had to have the potential to be widely adopted at a variety of different scales and phases.