Janine Benyus Wins Prestigious Heinz Award

PITTSBURGH, September 13, 2011 - Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation today announced Janine Benyus, an innovator in the field of biomimicry, as a recipient of a $100,000 Heinz Award.  Ms. Benyus is the visionary co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, formed by integrating The Biomimicry Institute and The Biomimicry Guild, which she co-founded in 1998.

The Heinz Awards, administered by the Heinz Family Foundation, recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions in the areas of: Arts and Humanities, Environment, Human Condition, Public Policy, and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

From http://heinzawards.net/recipients/janine-benyus:

Propelled by an insatiable curiosity about what makes our world tick, Janine Benyus launched a unique concept that has forever changed the way we think about design. She has inspired the design industry to draw from nature's strategies as a resource in areas as disparate as carpeting, cities, health care and energy.

With the publication of her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, she introduced thousands of people to the notion that nature has the best track record for smart designs and innovations. The likes of Nike, Boeing, GE, universities and architects have all turned to Ms. Benyus to learn how their designs, products and manufacturing processes can be improved by borrowing ideas from nature’s organisms and ecosystems.

The press release describes the cross-disciplinary impact of Janine's work and the importance of the AskNature.org database.

“If you want to find the most brilliant engineers in the world, you need to look at the results of 3.8 billion years of evolution.  Native organisms and ecosystems have the best track record for well-adapted designs that fix vexing problems.” said Ms. Benyus.  “This tremendous honor from the Heinz Family Foundation comes at a pivotal time, allowing me to write my next book – a deep dive into nature’s ubiquitous designs and core principles.”

Image credit: The Heinz Foundation

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