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Science, Technology & Innovation: Biomimicry


Biomimicry is an emerging scientific approach that uses nature as inspiration to find solutions for contemporary technological problems. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, the planet’s organisms have adapted to a wide variety of circumstances and designed the most efficient and dynamic systems. Humans can learn from these adaptive designs and apply them to endless innovations for every sector of society. The minor Science, Technology & Innovation: Biomimicry aims to inspire and motivate the next generation of problem solvers in a world facing many critical challenges. You will utilize advanced academic knowledge to design your own bio-inspired real-life prototypes.

You will explore how nature builds strong and lightweight materials, forms networks, heals itself and senses its surroundings and then translate these insights into technologically advanced prototypes. In this minor, you can try, for example, to replicate the flying or swimming motion of a bird or jellyfish, simulate the directional language perception of the human ear by creating a microphone array to artificially process soundwaves, create a new self-healing material, or develop a self-learning network that mimics the biochemical networks in a living cell or brain. 

Minor Biomimicry explained
What does this minor entail?

Get a quick impression of the minor Science, Technology & Innovation: Biomimicry. Lecturer Pim Linnebank explains what you will learn in this minor. 

One semester-long project

The minor consists of one fulltime semester-long 30 EC course. You will start with workshops, lectures and tutorials that introduce you to the theoretical basics of biomimicry, the tools for applying these insights to technology, and the ways in which we can combine our knowledge of nature with practical problem-solving skills. In parallel, you will receive prototyping workshops (soldering, 3D-printing, programming microcontrollers etc.) to make your envisioned solutions a reality. Once you’ve gathered the basic skills and knowledge, you will put it all into practice during your team-based project, and build a bio-inspired robot in the UvA Makerspace. In here, you will have access to advanced tools and equipment to work on your prototype throughout the programme. 

Application and admission

This fulltime 30 EC minor is open for students from all natural sciences disciplines, but particularly interesting for students of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence, Information Sciences, Informatics, Biomedical Sciences, Biology, and Bèta-Gamma. International students are welcome as well. 

If you wish to apply, please send an email including your transcript of records from your prior and current academic programme(s) to before 1 July at the very latest. Please note that without these documents we cannot take your application into consideration. If we receive more applications than there are places available, you can be put on a waiting list. Places are granted on a first come, first served basis. 

Important to know in advance

  • For questions concerning the content of this minor, please consult Pim Linnebank

  • Please note that this is an intense fulltime programme with a filled timetable. It is not recommended to follow other courses while doing this minor.
  • Students in this minor will be given the option to collaborate with students from the minor Entrepreneurship. This is a unique opportunity for students in the 2023-2024 edition of the minor. A select few projects spanning both minors will be encouraged.
Facts & Figures
30 ECTS, 1 semester
Language of instruction