Biomimetic and Evolutionary Design Driven

Introduction

The Authors coordinated research brings together relevant activities from different challenges (health and wellbeing and raw material resource efficiency) and multi-KET (key enabling technologies such as advanced materials and biotechnology) leading the proposed design and fabrication technologies to industrial readiness and maturity for the commercialisation of innovative biomimetic systems while facing societal challenges with high potential for sustainable competitiveness, innovation and growth (Aversa et al., 2016 a-o, 2017 a-e; Petrescu et al., 2015, 2016 a-e; Petrescu and Calautit, 2016 a-b; Mirsayar et al., 2016-2017).

Innovation means focussing creativity in order to invent better or new products, equipment or consumer services, increasing the value returned from invested capital. Today, manufacturers are aware that innovation and creativity are key factors in unlocking potential development and growth.

Thus was born the need for the development of design professionals who know how to face and manage the increasing amount of technological innovation that scientific research offers us today. Already in the years 20-30 László Moholy-Nagy addressed the problematic relationship between Design and Innovation in the experimental laboratories of the Bauhaus “… organise perceptions that become progressively confused due to the very fast transformation of the industrial society …” (Borchardt-Hume, 2006; Fiedler, 2001; Molderings et al., 2009).

This concept is more than valid in our times where technological innovation is running faster than ever.

Companies attempt to expand their markets, in which competition is becoming ever more global and therefore innovation represents a crucial strategic element that can contribute to success (Zelenika and Pearce, 2014).

The process stimulates the economy as a whole (Pearce et al., 2012; Perez-Carmona, 2013): Innovation has been and still it is, the driving force propelling progress and economic growth. Innovation is developed within companies and it is based on the initiative and creativity of managers, designers, industrialists and investors. Equally, the development of environmental issues in manufacturing is becoming a critical component of international business activities (Shaker, 2015; Kahle and Gurel-Atay, 2013).

The success of many new industrial projects is based on the timely adoption of environmental approaches in company strategy, enabling the anticipation of restrictions introduced by standards and a general improvement in the management of environmental risks linked to industrial operations. Only companies with a substantial investment strategy for new product development will be able to take part in this market sector. In general terms, the redesign of products according to eco-compatibility criteria represents a quest for sustainable development.

An important indicator of this market trend consists of the formulation of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which include all the most “sustainable” companies in each industrial sector. Therefore sustainable development is not incompatible with competitivity: Ecology, design and manufacturing are interdisciplinary areas, which together offer a notable potential for innovation.

Design Listicle

Innovation, Competitiveness and Sustainability: The Role of Designer

The need for competitiveness and sustainability in the world, along with increasingly dynamic and complex scientific, industrial and cultural scenarios, require then a systemic approach in which research activities support the development of coherent, interconnected and eco-efficient industrial and social systems (Farah, 2015) responding to both market and social-cultural needs by:

Recovering competitiveness in the research and industrial patent productivity
Improving the quality of research and of industrial production in the industrial developing countries
Promoting the transition from a resource-intensive to sustainable, knowledge-intensive materials and processes

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