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

Why Birds are the World's Best Engineers

The New York Times - Assistant Professor Hunter King is featured in an in-depth New York Times article about his research into the mechanics of structures engineered by plants and animals. This article also included pictures of student Dan Garvin and graduate assistant Nick Weiner working in King's lab.

How biomechanics research led to a hairbrush inspired by a cat tongue
UA's weekly Integrated Bioscience Seminar Series presents research by a wide variety of guest speakers.
Can hedgehogs help protect heads? Local startup designs helmets inspired by hedgehog quills

The Devil StripEmily Kennedy, Ph.D., CEO of Hedgemon, LLC. and director of external relations at UA's Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, discusses how hedgehogs were the right inspiration for creating a helmet that can protect brain and head injuries.

How an Akron company is using a hedgehog to help solve football's concussion problem: Game Changers

WKYC-TV - Emily Kennedy, Ph.D., CEO of Hedgemon, LLC. and a former biomimicry fellow at UA's Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, was featured in a WKYC news segment called "Game Changers."

A Close Look at a Sticky Situation

New Research Finds Missing Link between Soft Surface Adhesion and Surface Roughness


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.