Innovation Inspired By Nature

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Innovation Inspired By Nature
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Thu 26 March 2020
Thursday 26 March 2020
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Nature has some of the best solutions to our toughest 21st-century problems. We learn from nature in terms of product design and better harmony between the natural and built environment.

What are Biomimetics? How can Blue Green infrastructure and Sustainable Drainage Solutions support a better built environment? How do Biomaterials work? This exciting evening session will look at this tech and the future opportunities available.

We will invite Heriot-Watt University, and network members Stantec and GRN Sportswear to speak at this event.

Lewis Derrick, Assistant Engineer at Stantec, will provide an overview of the multiple benefits that can be achieved through Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), including how they play a role in Green-Blue infrastructure strategies, and how recent changes to the Water Industry will hopefully unlock their potential across new developments. This talk will also look at Green-Blue infrastructure.

Rob Webbon, CEO at Grn Sportswear, will be speaking about bio-based fabric developments.

Programmes such as the BBC's Blue Planet II series & the War on Waste have given rise to a noticeable push-back against the use of synthetic fibres in textiles. The industry is responding with a swathe of bio-based fabric developments. Rob will describe the history of bio-based fabrics in the clothing industry, will discuss the latest exciting developments, and the potential issues to look out for.

Julian Vincent, Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University, will be speaking about how Biomimetics transfers design from biology to technology.

Direct transfer can be trivially easy. Examples are Velcro; and a material based on wood that’s five times tougher than tough steel per unit weight.

Some abstraction is often needed, such as how a problem is solved: technology relies on energy and materials whereas nature relies on information and structure. An example is air conditioning replaced by insulation that can radiate heat.

At a deeper level the problem is defined as a trade-off. A trade-off solved by a wasp laying its eggs in wood led to a steerable intracranial endoscope.

All these require the identification of a problem that biology has solved (readily available in the biological literature), and collaboration between technology and biology at all stages.


18:00 - 18:20 - Registration, Drinks & Nibbles

18:20 - 18:30 - Introduction from The Future Economy Network

18:30 - 18:45 - Stantec, Lewis Derrick

18:45 - 19:00 - Grn Sportswear, Rob Webbon

19:00 - 19:15 - Heriot Watt University, Julian Vincent

19:15 - 19:45 - Panel Discussion

19:45 - 19:50 - 60 Second Pitches

19:50 - 20:00 - Close

20:00 - 20:30 - Networking and Nibbles

Meet Our Speakers!

Lewis Derrick, Assistant Engineer, Stantec

Lewis has worked at Stantec (formerly PBA) since graduating four and half years ago, gaining a wide range of experience developing surface water drainage strategies for both public and private clients. Lewis is focussed on delivering Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in developments as part of wider Green-Blue Infrastructure strategies, providing water management, water quality, amenity and biodiversity enhancement.

Rob Webbon, CEO, Grn Sportswear

Rob is an environmental scientist by training, with 15 years’ experience of managing sustainability and engineering projects from concept through to delivery. His expertise and understanding of sustainability was the driving force behind the creation of GRN Sportswear, and its incorporation of innovative sustainable fabrics throughout the garment range. He is a competitive athlete, having taken part in marathons and long distance triathlon for many years.

Julian Vincent, Honorary Professor, Nature Inspired Manufacturing Centre, School of Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

Julian has honorary Professorships in Scotland, Germany and the USA. He is an Honorary Professor of Biomimetics at University of Rhein-Waal and University of Oxford. Primarily a biologist, he has always been interested in practical engineering, maintaining and restoring old cars, motorbikes, etc. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. He is fascinated by the concept of using ideas derived from biology in a technical context, and has been involved in a number of related inventions. He is currently working on an advanced computer system to give engineers access to the methods that nature has evolved to solve their technical problems.

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We have included a mandatory carbon-offsetting fee of £1 to all our tickets: this is part of our commitment to be carbon-neutral in our operations.

#wegrowthhub #business #seminar #carbon #netzero #sustainable #sme #waste #reduce #zerowaste #growth #zerocarbon #tech #cleantech #biomaterials #biomimicry #biomimetics

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