Showcasing New Ways to Solve Climate Change, Inspired by Nature


A new way to restore remote areas of the Atlantic rainforest inspired by winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter. A passive way to cool city buildings that feels like being under a shady tree. A design that helps communities breathe easier by filtering air pollution much like a fish filters water.

These innovations and more will be showcased at the 2018 National Bioneers Conference as part of the Ray of Hope Prize® award event on Saturday, October 20. For the third year, Bioneers will welcome six international teams from the Biomimicry Launchpad, the world’s only accelerator program for early-stage nature-inspired innovations, as the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s John Lanier presents the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, a $25,000 second prize from an anonymous donor, and additional cash prizes.

“Since it was founded 29 years ago, Bioneers has held a lasting belief and reverence for lessons we can learn from nature and a firm commitment to empowering leadership in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Bioneers Executive Director Joshua Fouts. “We are inspired and honored to host these awards, which look to the natural world and youth for vision and wisdom to solve some of our planet’s most vexing problems.”

These teams are part of the Biomimicry Institute’s Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a global competition sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation that asks innovators to create radically sustainable climate change solutions inspired by the natural world. As winners of the Challenge, these teams were invited to join the Biomimicry Launchpad, which gives participants mentorship and support to develop their biomimetic designs. These teams will present their biomimicry solutions at the Biomimicry Launchpad Showcase on Friday, October 19, followed by the Ray of Hope Prize award on the mainstage of the Bioneers 2018 conference on October 20.

“As we approach the third annual Ray of Hope Prize, I am excited to see what the teams in the Biomimicry Launchpad have developed,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “We know that biomimicry is a better way of designing, and teams from past years have proven it. I expect this year’s teams will continue to raise the bar.”

“Those of us in the sustainability movement talk about redesigning pretty much everything and it feels daunting. But over 30 thousand new products hit the market each year while natural resources dwindle -- which provides a good rationale for innovations designed to support healthy ecosystems instead of detract from them,” said Beth Rattner, executive director of the Biomimicry Institute. “Our Challenge and Launchpad are helping to create a new generation of innovators who know how to look to nature to fast track designs that serve both their communities and the planet.”

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over four years to support the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a multi-year effort to crowdsource, support, and seed promising innovations inspired by nature. Each year, the Institute and Foundation together will award the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize® to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry.

Registration is now open for the 2018-19 round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Individuals and teams can learn more at Early-stage entrepreneurs are also invited to apply directly to the Biomimicry Launchpad. Applications will open in winter 2019 for the next cohort.

Biomimicry Launchpad Showcase

October 19, 2018 | 5:45 - 8:30 PM
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA, 94704
Join the Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation for an evening that celebrates the entrepreneurs who are creating solutions that help all species on this planet thrive. Biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus will present the latest examples of cutting edge biomimetic technology and teams of entrepreneurs from the Biomimicry Launchpad will display their prototypes for carbon capture, reforestation, temperature regulation and more!
$100,000 Ray of Hope Prize award at Bioneers 2018
October 20, 2018 | 11:00 AM
Marin Center, San Rafael, CA
Register here (use code Biomimicry Institute to save 15% off of registration.
Join us this year as the Ray C. Anderson Foundation's John Lanier takes the stage on Saturday, October 20, to award the 2017 $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize to one of six teams in the Biomimicry Launchpad. The goal of this prize is to show how nature-inspired design can provide viable solutions to pressing sustainability issues and to bring these solutions to market quickly. Learn more at
About the Biomimicry Institute
The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that empowers people to seek nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet.
About Ray C. Anderson Foundation
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote a sustainable society by supporting and funding educational and project-based initiatives that advance knowledge and innovation in sustainability.
About Bioneers
Bioneers is an innovative nonprofit educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. Founded in 1990 in Santa Fe, New Mexico by social entrepreneurs Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, Bioneers has acted as a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.