Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.68
Liaison Franklin Lebo
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Baldwin Wallace University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Franklin Lebo
Assistant Professor of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
BW - Great Lakes Biomimicry Partnership

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
Northeast Ohio is recognized as the biomimicry research capital of the world as it is home to the only Ph.D. program in biomimicry in the United States at the University of Akron, has powerful supporters in NASA and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, ongoing R&D into the topic at multiple Fortune 500s in the region, and is home to a powerful biomimicry network led by Great Lakes Biomimicry (GLBio). Founded in 2010 as the first Affiliate Partner of the international organization Biomimicry 3.8, GLBio has attracted Biomimicry Ph.D. Fellows from across the globe, raised over $2 million in Fellow stipends, received $425,000 of in-kind support from service partners, partnered with over 30 agencies, businesses and schools, and invested more than 33,000 volunteer hours into the organization. Dr. Ven Ochaya, a professor of Business at BW, is the founder of biomimicry courses at BW at both the undergraduate and MBA level and serves on the board of directors of Great Lakes Biomimicry (GLBio).

Three years ago, Dr. Franklin Lebo, Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Sustainability Program Assessment Coordinator, assumed responsibility for these biomimicry courses and has taken this partnership with GLBio to the next level by requiring multidisciplinary student teams in the courses to develop innovative biomimetic products and present those ideas to a panel of GLBio representatives at the end of the semester in a "Shark-Tank" format. Students are then required to compete in two different competitions including Start Something BW which provides a cash prize to a new invention with a focus on enhancing social justice and the "IdeaLabs" Competition hosted by Lauchnet which is a regional intercollegiate competition of new inventions.

To ensure BW's biomimicry teams are best prepared, Dr. Lebo also partnered with the founder of the new Engineering program at BW, Dr. Helen Muga. Together, Drs. Lebo and Muga have redesigned the curriculum to emphasize the importance of bringing sustainable and engineering design thinking to Nature's Principles. Although only one class of MBA students in the SU18 and one class of undergraduate students in the FA18 have experienced this new curriculum, many exciting new inventions have resulted such as a penguin bioinspired water bottle, an organic shoe concept, and a bathroom drain mimicking the gills of a shark. The first team has already won the Start Something BW competition and has submitted their work for the larger IdeaLabs competition in March of 2019. This program served 17 undergraduate and 10 graduate students in 2018 and will expand to serve the Engineering students as well in the fall of 2019.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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