Charged to carry Ray Anderson's legacy forward, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation will partner with The Biomimicry Institute to create a new Biomimicry Design Challenge and a new Ray C. Anderson Prize. This competition is designed to generate new and innovative solutions to environmental challenges and to foster new businesses capable of implementing those solutions. Such a competition will help achieve one of the Foundation's principle objectives: harmonizing business, society, and the environment.
This commitment will consist of the first four years of the Biomimicry Design Challenge. The challenge will primarily consist of two phases: a Design Phase and a Prototype Phase. In the Design Phase, The Biomimicry Institute will guide teams from across the globe as they seek to solve environmental challenges by employing biomimetic principles. These teams will develop their biomimetic designs over the course of one year, after which five to ten finalists will be awarded with cash prizes and recognized for creating the best concepts.
These finalists will then be invited to compete in the Prototype Phase. In this phase, the finalists will strive to implement their biomimetic design with a workable prototype, with continuing guidance from The Biomimicry Institute. This phase will also last for one year, at the end of which the Ray C. Anderson Foundation will judge the finalists and choose the one best prototype, awarding its team the ,000 Ray C. Anderson Prize.
With The Biomimicry Institute's network, support and mentorship, the Ray C. Anderson Prize winners and other finalists will then be able to seek commercial development of their design prototypes. Thus, new and innovative businesses, each with an appreciation of natural systems at their core, will be fostered with each year's Biomimicry Design Challenge. As Ray Anderson believed, business must take the lead in solving our environmental challenges: the Ray C. Anderson Foundation is helping create businesses prepared to do just that.
2014, Fourth Quarter
The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation will finalize all initial plans in anticipation of opening the first Biomimicry Design Challenge in January 2015. This includes securing additional partners and funding, developing content related to the Challenge, and marketing the Challenge.
2015, First Quarter
The first Biomimicry Design Challenge will be officially opened in January 2015 and The Biomimicry Institute will begin consulting with entrants. The focus for the Challenge will be 'Food Security,' which will also be the focus of the 2016 Challenge Design Phase. The focus for the 2017 Challenge Design Phase will be decided upon and announced this quarter.
2015, Second and Third Quarter
Entrants will continue to be advised for the 2015 Challenge and marketing will begin for the 2016 Challenge. At the end of this quarter, the 2015 Challenge finalists will be selected. The 2016 Biomimicry Design Challenge will also be launched at the end of this quarter.
2015, Fourth Quarter
An event honoring the 2015 Challenge finalists will be held. Additionally, recognition of the finalists will mark the beginning of the Prototype Phase for those finalists.
2016, First and Second Quarter
2016 Entrants and 2015 finalists will continue to be advised in their respective Challenge phases. At the end of this quarter, 2016 Design Phase finalists and the first Ray C. Anderson Prize winners will be selected.
2016, Third Quarter
An event honoring the 2016 Challenge Finalists and the first Ray C. Anderson Prize Winners will be held. The 2017 Challenge Design and Prototype Phases will begin.
Remainder of the Commitment
Throughout each year, teams will continue to be advised. Finalists and the Ray C. Anderson Prize winners will be selected at the end of the second quarter each year and honored at an event in the third quarter each year. The Biomimicry Institute will continuously support and mentor past finalists and Ray C. Anderson Prize winners as they seek to create new businesses and secure investors.
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation seeks to promote a sustainable society by supporting and pioneering initiatives that harmonize business, society and the environment for the present and future generations. The Foundation believes that nature and humanity face a wide range of environmental challenges. Moreover, these environmental challenges impact how humans live and work. Polluted air and water; the concentration of toxic materials in living organisms; biodiversity loss; a decline in food security; the looming threats of climate change - each issue presents its own series of concerns, and each is related to the others in a myriad of ways.
Ray Anderson, the namesake of the Foundation and the founder of the world's largest modular carpet manufacturer, Interface Inc., was a champion of industrial sustainability. He took these threats seriously and dedicated himself to solving them. Ray believed that business and industry are causing the greatest environmental challenges of the day, but that business is the only sector in society capable of leading humanity towards sustainability. He worked tirelessly to make his company as sustainable as possible, and to inspire others to do the same. During his journey, Ray came to discover the immense potential that the field of biomimicry holds for environmental sustainability.
Biomimicry, the idea that nature itself offers design inspiration and guidance, holds great promise in addressing our challenges. Too few people, however, think to look to nature for solutions. More businesses, both existing and new, should embrace biomimetic principles. With the power of business and industry sensitized to humanity's environmental issues and focused on biomimetic solutions, society can take further strides towards securing a healthy future for all people.