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Scientists and engineers apply nature's design to human problems

annually in North America.

Bioneers is a network of citizens, scientists and entrepreneurs that explores practical solutions adapted from natural systems and native cultures and then applies these solutions to fundamental environmental, economic and social challenges. Its long-term goal is to engage leaders in various fields in a conversation and learning process to help them understand the root causes of the region's economic, social and environmental problems, according to its Website (http://www.inspiringfutures.org/bioneers/workshopdescriptions). Then leaders can make decisions based on the long-term impacts on the broader community and the natural environment.

"This is a key invitation for us," Yen said. "It's a great opportunity to get connected locally with leaders in the region."Yen will present the mission and activities of CBID, which formed this past summer with a three-year internal seed grant. The idea for the center began with discussions between Yen and Weissburg. Weissburg's interest grew out of his research for the Office of Naval Research on understanding olfactory guidance in crabs. The Navy was interested in this process because it wanted to build autonomous devices with a similar capability, he explained.

Then, earlier this year, Yen, Weissburg and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Craig Tovey studied with Bioneer and biomimicry expert Janine Benyus for 10 days in Costa Rica.

"We wanted to see how nature does things like gathering and transporting energy, and then see if we can translate those processes for human applications," Yen said. "Georgia Tech is a great place to do this kind of research. It provides engineers who want to apply their expertise with biologists a new way to design solutions to problems."

After this experience, the idea for the center developed further with the help of a biological metaphor ?t
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Source:Georgia Institute of Technology Research News


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