When nature knows best

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Por Clare Naden
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Biomimetics – the science of applying principles learned from nature to develop new technologies and solutions – is transforming our world. Now, a new set of standards will help break down barriers to its use, creating opportunities for even more.

From birds and planes to viruses and nano-device components, taking inspiration from the wonders of nature’s biological systems is nothing new. But biomimetics is a growing field and its potential is, in principle, unlimited.

However, until now, there has been no official uniformity in the field – and thus little recognition – with the word “biomimetic” or its country cousin “bionic” often being misused. A new set of International Standards aims to increase acceptance of biomimetic products, smoothing out legal issues and boosting economic opportunities. What’s more, as the practice mimics nature, it will boost sustainability as well.

ISO 18458, Biomimetics – Terminology, concepts and methodology, provides a framework for the terminology on biomimetics in scientific, industrial and educational fields while ISO 18459, Biomimetics Biomimetic structural optimization, specifies the functions and scopes of biomimetic structural optimization methods that consider the ideal design of components to withstand things like weight or lifespan.

Dr. Michael Schmitt, Secretary of the ISO technical committee that developed the standards and Project Manager at DIN, the ISO member for Germany, said the standards will help consumers of biomimetic products as much as producers.

“These new standards have the potential to remove technical barriers to the development of new and innovative products in this field and promote greater interdisciplinary cooperation,” he commented. “What’s more, they will provide greater legal and quality certainty, instilling confidence in consumers and producers alike.”

ISO 18458 and ISO 18459 can be purchased from your local ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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