Image by Annie Spratt

BEIRUT BIOMIMICS

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We are a biomimicry group of eight Lebanese students in 11th grade. What unites us is our common passion to protect our environment and make the world a better place. What better way of achieving our goals than to start with a design challenge in mind and look at the natural world for solutions?

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Meet the Biomimics

Chloe

Chloe Samaha

Founding the Beirut Biomimics was just the start of my journey to reinvent the corporate world and hopefully one day, our innovations will be inspired by nature’s genius and we could create a symbiotic relationship that would allow us all to thrive.

Maria B_

Maria Bechara

Entering the Beirut Biomimics, my goal was to be part of this the community that will be part of our nature’s protection and our biodiversity’s conservation.

Sylvie

Sylvie Bejjani

Creating to be part of a better future, this is why I joined the Beirut Biomimics. Today, I am more than ever certain that looking at nature is the best way to do so.

Amalie z=Zard

Amalie Zard

Being part of the Beirut Biomimics has broadened my knowledge on the world we live in and has taught me how to seek out of the box ideas in conventional situations.

Aya Boulos

Aya Boulos

Being part of the Beirut Biomimics is my first step toward creating my ideal new world- a world where the environment does not need protection.

Angelina F_

Angelina Farah

Studying the biomimicry 3.8 methodology alongside my fellow biomimics has given me a new insight and has allowed me to look at issues in a different light. My experience with this team has been extremely fulfilling and enjoyable.

Catarina Sahyoun

Catarina Sahyoun

Joining the Beirut Biomimics embodies my interest towards nature. It is a new opportunity for me to be part of the change and make our world a better place.

Celine el Feghaly

Celine el Feghaly

I was initially interested in biomimicry out of sheer curiosity and a deep love for the natural world but it has become a big part of my life and the way I approach all sorts of obstacles.

Our Involvement

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Impossible

Lebanon

Challenge

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World Biodiversity Forum

Our biggest challenge today is tackling the climate crisis which is due to excessive emission from fossil fuels. Solar has become the most widespread renewable both at the commercial and residential level and that is why we have decided to focus on its innovations and improvements.

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Problem Statement

Although solar panels have been very beneficial in reducing carbon emissions when it comes to the production of electric energy, they remain deeply flawed. Some of the issues include: The use of harmful and toxic chemicals, non-recyclable materials. Furthermore, the careless handling during shipping and installation causes microcracks which can expand overtime. Most solar panels are not properly laminated, that leads to internal corrosion when moisture penetrates into the panel. Conventional solar panels take up large amounts of space, get dirty very easily and are high-priced.

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We value nature in its absolute, and look to nature to seek viable solutions for the challenges our planet and its inhabitants are facing. In fact, nature is the definition of perfection and while trying to solve the complex problems of human activity and its impact on nature, we aim high, we look to this perfection to solve the problems our planet and its inhabitants are facing, without extracting from nature in our search for solutions. This holistic approach is a journey to implementing sustainable solutions for our planet and all its inhabitants.

Beirut Biomimics
 

Impossible Lebanon Challenge

Phase 1

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had catastrophic consequences on the economic, environmental and social field. In light of the current situation, we the Beirut Biomimics, decided to launch a challenge that would be able to help high schoolers express themselves on a louder platform. The point of this challenge was to come up with a solution for one of these fields that could hopefully be implemented. We therefore called every Lebanese High schooler (9th to 12th grade) to write an essay in the language of their choice (English/Arabic/French) with a chance to win $1,000. 

Round 1

All high schoolers that sign up are automatically considered applicants. Every applicant has to choose a category between environmental, social and economical. The chosen category will be the main topic of the essay.

Question 1: If you were chosen by the Lebanese community to find a solution (for one of these fields: social, environmental, economical) moving into the post COVID era, what would it be?

Round 2

The 9 chosen applicants are the winners of the previous round and are considered the finalists of the competition and the only ones that are allowed to answer the second question.

Question 2: Now that you have found your solution, use the Biomimicry 3.8 methodology to develop your idea.

Round 3

There were three final winners, each of whom won $1,000 and got their essays published on multiple platforms (Born global foundation website, An-nahhar newspaper, etc.).

The essays were graded by a panel of judges.

To read these essays, click on one of the following:

Nature's many unknown presents by Alessandro Massaad

المجال المطروح: البيئي by Moustafa Ibrahim Hammoud

La violence domestique by Maria Dirany

Economy by Maria Hekimian

Le Liban presents by Joseph Boulos

Lebanon: A Garbage Paradise by Caline Christian Egho

All of the Power by Chloe Ghaleb

The Card of Hope by Elise Eid

Two Birds One Stone by Ghassan Abboud

To read about Phase 2, click here

 

Born Global Summer Internship

The general theme of the internship was the Biohub the company is working on in Maine, integrating different components that complement each other in an effort towards less waste and a higher productivity.

Being part of an internship at Born Global Foundation is more of an eye-opening journey than a learning experience. The process we went through made us not only researchers but innovators, and this is what this internship was all about, creating to be part of a better future.

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Chloe

Chloe Samaha

Team: Innovation Ecosystem

The innovation ecosystem team's mission is to improve the conventional innovation process. As most of you may know 90% of startups are bound to fail due to the long and and expensive launch of the project. The saddest part is most if not all startups don’t get recycled, which means the amazing idea gets forgotten and all the progress and handwork gets thrown away.

This linear process leads to a huge amount of wasted talent, resource, time and money. After growing our knowledge on the innovation world we were finally able to abstract solutions using the biomimicry methodology. Our team focused on three different functions for the coral reef system. We chose the coral reef system because it is a mature ecosystem and in a mature ecosystem you see higher levels of cooperation between niche players and less competition between the keystone species. And we felt that in order to get a higher success rate in the human innovation ecosystem we should try to mimic some of these more cooperative strategies

Maria B_

Maria Bechara

During this 12 week process, my team and I worked on finding new methods of transforming CO2 into Protein. After studying more about the food industry and the future we’re heading to in this field, we decided to focus on transforming CO2 specifically into Animal Feed. Using the methodology of Biomimicry, we decided to focus on a type of algae that is a great example of the function we were looking for.

Team: CO2 to Protein

Aya Boulos

Aya Boulos

The primary goal of this team was to investigate nature-inspired methods of increasing the efficiency of solar panels through minimizing panel degradation, enhancing absorption, and reducing the chances of microcracks.

Team: Solar Efficiency

Angelina F_

Angelina Farah

Along with a group of 6 students that have

been researching different ways to incorporate CO2 into different building materials. We’ve focused on the green concrete industry since concrete constitutes 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

Team: CO2 to Materials

Sylvie

Sylvie Bejjani

Our team started by studying the "spongy" structure of biochar and researching the benefits of using Biochar as an animal feed additive. We then had to go even further by implementing the Biomimicry 3.8 methodology into our research, ending up with abstract design principles based on the functions of different organisms.

Team: Biochar Animal Feed

Amalie z=Zard

Amalie Zard

We studied how biochar can create new products in filtration, soil

amendment and animal feed supplements but focused specifically on biochar as a fertilizer using the 3.8 Biomimicry Methodology.

Team: Biochar Fertilizer

Catarina Sahyoun

Catarina Sahyoun

Our goal: To make our effluent filter much more efficient and sustainable by integrating specific organisms within the RAS system to naturally filter organics and contaminants. We firstly studied the current used systems of filtration focusing on the issues they’re facing, to then identify the particularities the filter should be able to handle, to finally being able to design our own filter.

Team: RAS Particulate Filter

Celine el Feghaly

Celine el Feghaly

We spent the internship working to integrate live organisms into Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in order to make them more efficient. For instance, introducing a species of bacteria capable of breaking down sludge into the system's filter to make waste treatment easier. We looked closely at aquatic organisms and, through the biomimicry methodology, came up with sustainable ways to treat waste.

Team: RAS Bioutilization