The professorship deals with the question whether biomimicry can contribute as an innovation method to sustainable solutions in product innovation, process innovation and societal innovation, and its application in these three fields. Biomimicry is an emerging discipline, the application of which can lead to innovation and sustainable solutions in the field of engineering, design and societal innovation. The professorship is a collaboration between Aeres University of Applied Sciences Wageningen, Hogeschool InHolland Delft and VHL Leeuwarden, that work together from the common basis of their green DNA. The professorship was set up with subsidies from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Biomimicry professorship focuses on:
- The development of new knowledge and integral concepts through joint practice-oriented research with the education sector, national and international innovative companies, and knowledge institutes
- The positioning of biomimicry in the agri-food sector and in green vocational education
In his public biomimicry lecture: ‘Learning from Nature for sustainable solutions’ (Gallo, 2018), the professor defined the following research areas: (1) bio-inspired robots for a more sustainable agri-food sector; (2) bio-inspired filtration systems for the improvement of water quality in agriculture; (3) bio-inspired strategies for the enhancement of organizations’ responsiveness; and (4) the development of methodologies that enable the transfer of knowledge in an interdisciplinary environment. The third and fourth research areas are in line with learning and development, and therefore correspond with the Aeres University of Applied Sciences Wageningen research program.
The professorship works together with research groups and partner organizations on shared research programs, thereby strengthening the three organizations’ perspectives:
- Aeres University of Applied Sciences Wageningen: The ‘sustainable learning and development of professionals and (green) vocational education’ program.
- Inholland Delft: The green-engineering crossover in the Sustainable solutions centre in Delft.
- VHL: The sustainable and innovative technologies program.
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Dr Mauro Gallo was appointed as ‘Professor Biomimicry, learning from Nature for sustainable solutions’ at Aeres University of Applied Sciences Wageningen in 2017.