While researching for a blog topic this week highlighting biomimicry, I stumbled across another blog that is dedicated to biomimicry. Looking through the display of blog posts, it was hard to choose a topic to focus on, because they all seemed really ingenious ideas in areas I never thought about before. Biomimicry can be implemented into virtually any field to create better designs, systems and practices. Posts on the blog site included topics on computer technology, medical instruments, energy harvesting, fashion inspirations as well as architectural applications. But the one that really intrigued me was a post about The Da Vinci Index.
The Da Vinci Index is marketed as an economic index that measures the activity in biomimicry and bio-inspired applications or research. This index was introduced by Dr. Lynn Reaser in conjunction with the biomimicry BRIDGE, based in San Diego, CA. Their hope is to bring awareness to the area of biomimicry as well as making San Diego a world hub for the study of biomimicry.
The index works by measuring the use of biomimicry in the U.S. economy with four components: number of scholarly articles, number of patents, number of grants and dollar value of grants. 2000 was used as a base year for the measurement with a score of 100; by 2010 the score of biomimicry activity was 713. (1) While this index does measure the use of biomimicry, its biggest goal is to bring awareness to biomimicry. The study and implementation of biomimicry has been used for hundreds of years, but has never been collected in one area. The hope is that if there is data to show how prevalent the use of biomimicry is, it will create a snowball effect of the application of biomimicry to solve problems in a vast range of uses.
After looking into this program, I think the index would be a better tool into looking for solutions to a problem that may have already been solved using biomimicry; just like the website talked about today in class. I do think it is great to see that after just ten years, the use of biomimicry has increased by seven-fold. So maybe The Da Vinci Index is having an impact on the use of biomimicry in innovative and problem solving applications in today’s designs.