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Biomimetics from practical feedback to an interdisciplinary process

Abstract

Biomimetics has been a subject of increasing interest but, where it has proven its scientific relevance and innovative potential from a theoretical standpoint, it remains rarely used in practice. Facing this lack of implementation, our work aimed at asking practitioners for their help to better understand the remaining impediments preventing biomimetics’ blooming. Thus, practitioners’ feedback and experts’ opinion on risks, adequacy and weaknesses of the current biomimetic practices were gathered and structured to present an extensive descriptive phase on biomimetic processes. Key levers for improvements, such as the need for a better risk management, the need for biological expertise and the need for clear guidance during the process, were then identified. Based on these insights various methodological contributions are prescribed. Among these inputs, the duration of the various steps of the biomimetic process was estimated through industrial projects’ feedback, semantics misunderstandings were tackled, and the integration of a new transdisciplinary profile combining an expertise in both design and biology is proposed. From these improvements, a new version of the unified problem-driven biomimetic process is proposed. A final descriptive phase performed through the evaluation of the new process by professionals underlined its relevancy along with the remaining research axes. Through the integration of a new profile matching the practitioners’ current needs and the adaptation of the process to their feedback, this article aims at proposing a biomimetic process fitting the reality of biomimetic practice in order to support its implementation.

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adapted from Fayemi et al. 2017)

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the students and professionals that have given time and energy for this project. We also would like to specifically thank Kristina Wanieck and the CEEBIOS members for their time, inputs and precious feedbacks on the FMEA used in this article.

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Correspondence to Eliot Graeff.

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Graeff, E., Letard, A., Raskin, K. et al. Biomimetics from practical feedback to an interdisciplinary process. Res Eng Design 32, 349–375 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00163-021-00356-x

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Keywords

  • Biomimetics
  • BID
  • Multidisciplinary team
  • Design process
  • Practical feedback
  • Risk evaluation