A new case study published in Research-Technology Management is touting the potential of biomimicry as a tool for gaining innovation advantages AND increasing product sustainability.
According to this Science Magazine article, biomimicry “can potentially expand intellectual property, increase energy savings and accelerate product innovation.” The study details work done at GOJO Inc., in partnership with the biomimicry Ph.D. program at the University of Akron.
A cross-functional team of 15 GOJO employees dedicated 165 hours in workshop sessions on biomimicry, attempting to increase the energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of liquid soap and sanitizer dispenser pumps. Ultimately, four patent applications for novel dispensing systems resulted from the team’s efforts with the inspiration for each system stemming from nature.
To determine the extent of the advantages offered by biomimicry, the biomimicry project’s performance was compared to a similar pump development project GOJO executed in 2010. The preliminary data strongly suggests that biomimicry may offer real advantages in the front end of innovation for both improved innovation performance and improved sustainability.
The full paper can be found here.