Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center

The University of Akron (UA) Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) is an internationally recognized leader in the rapidly growing field of biomimicry. BRIC is dedicated to connecting artists, businesspeople, designers, engineers and scientists to catalyze biomimicry-based innovation. Interdisciplinary research projects draw inspiration from organisms as diverse as ants, bacteria, birds, cacti, fish, flies, geckos, mussels, snakes and spiders to inform the development of permanent/reversible adhesives, building construction techniques, color-producing additives/structures, robotic actuators/control systems, thermal management systems, water harvesting/repellent materials and more. Beyond research, BRIC activities include training next generation innovators by developing and implementing undergraduate- and graduate-level curricula, promoting awareness of biomimicry through public seminars, and, accelerating innovation through co-delivery of professional services with Great Lakes Biomimicry. BRIC’s vision is for biomimicry to become a driver for sustainable economic development in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Click to download our general information BRIC brochure.



With our strategic partner, Great Lakes Biomimicry, we offer: Professional Education, Innovation Services, and Biomimicry Fellow Sponsorship Opportunities. Independently, BRIC offers Biomimicry Design Challenge Sponsorship Opportunities and Research and Testing Services.

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Recent Headlines

Society dedicated to the study of caves honors professor for a lifetime of achievement
Dr. Hazel Barton, professor of biology and director of the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program, was named the 2020 recipient of the National Speleological Society Science Award. Barton’s research is geared toward understanding microbially-driven processes in cave environments.
Scientists look to bird feathers for printing colors - July 9, 2020

UA doctoral students Mario Echeverri and Anvay Patil, together with Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, H.A. Morton Professor Department of Polymer Science, "demonstrated that the visibility of the colors can be modified by changing the color of the background surface." This research was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Northwestern University and Ghent University in Belgium.

Mussel-inspired polymer glue sticks to wet surfaces

C&EN - New adhesive can be applied and cured with UV light in a range of salty and acidic conditions

For decades, scientists have tried to make surgical glues modeled after adhesive proteins that mussels use to cling to underwater surfaces. But making a practical glue that can be applied to wet tissues and cured within the body has been tricky. Now, researchers report a biodegradable adhesive that sticks to wet surfaces in minutes and, unlike previous glues, works under the body’s range of saltiness and acidity (ACS Nano 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c02396).

University of Akron’s polymer program generates successful spin-out companies

The University of Akron's polymer program a powerhouse of generating spin-out companies where polymer scientists and alumni turn their technology and research into business ventures.

"Sticky" research lands polymer science graduate in Washington D.C.

Biomimicry research fellowship on gecko-inspired adhesives leads to postdoc at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for Michael Wilson. 

Biomimicry Certificate Elective: Biodesign Textile Hybrids

Studio Biomimetic Design Fall 2020 applies principles of biomimetics to artistic and architectural design and prototyping. We will explore textile based biocomposites designed for and with living organisms such as plants, insects and bacteria. It is an entry level studio design exercise, using nature as a model for creating innovative solutions, at the intersection of biology and design. No specifific knowledge is needed to take this course, students from all departments are welcome. The course outcomes are design project representations including graphics, digital or analog models and prototypes.

Click here for the 7100:316-001 Biodesign Course Flyer.


Grad Fellowships

The Biomimicry Fellowship Program, launched in collaboration with Great Lakes Biomimicry in 2012, is a training program for next generation innovators. Biomimicry Fellows are UA doctoral students who are supported through industrial assistantships with organizational sponsors, rather than through teaching assistantships or research grants. Over the course of a typical five-year doctoral program, Biomimicry Fellows dedicate up to 20 hours per week to advancing biomimicry initiatives within their sponsoring organizations.

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Undergrad Certificate

The University of Akron's Undergraduate Certificate in Biomimicry is interdisciplinary and open to all majors. It is designed to give students training and experience in the theory, methods, and practice of seeking inspiration from living systems to solve technical challenges. Undergrads seeking a certificate will work with peers and faculty from departments including biology, art, engineering, and business to develop a skillset enabling problem-solving in a variety of contexts where innovation and sustainability are desired outcomes.

Visit Undergrad Certificate for more information.