In Northeastern Ohio people with a powerful vision have taken steps to vitalize and naturalize their economy. After a great deal of research and hard work an entrepreneurial hub has been created bringing together labs, universities and businesses based on studying living systems for potential new products inspired by molecules and processes that have been tested and proven by nature over thousands and millions of years to be both optimal and sustainable. This is known as biomimicry and is growing rapidly as a sustainable approach to innovation. With success, new products and services are flowing from this initiative and there is a 5 year PhD program in biomimicry. Ten years ago this exciting concept was part of Nova Scotia’s own economic plan. Our current efforts to promote Halifax as Canada’s Ocean City are in support of the 20% of total research funds spent in this area in the province and the 35,000 Nova Scotians whose work involves the ocean, But nowhere is mentioned sustainability despite the difficult depleted state of the oceans.
Estimates are that the 200,000 marine species we know of represent less than 10% of the total species that exist. And yet from this number already 5,000 thousand useful chemical compounds have been created for medicines and such. Researchers discovered almost 1500 new underwater species in 2015 alone and there are a growing number of very exciting new products being developed, inspired by the sea, Shouldn’t we as a people so closely bound to it by our history and our daily lives be finding new ways to learn and make our livelihood from the sea ?