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BACK TO NATURE

Eight in ten of us think the smartest breakthroughs in science, technology and safety will come from copying nature – citing examples like cats eyes, Velcro and solar panels – found new research out today.

Biomimicry is the imitation of nature to solve the challenges we face. The study of 2,000 adults revealed that people agree it is four and a half times more effective to mimic nature than develop ideas from scratch.

The research for Uniroyal, the rain tyre, saw that one in four of us are fascinated by technology found in swimsuits, boat surfaces and car tyres, all modelled on the characteristics of shark skin that has microscopic patterns to allow better water dispersal.

People believe that biomimicry is better because it offers proven results, is a more natural solution and a better use of scarce resources.

Mark Griffiths at Uniroyal said: “Quite often the challenges we face have already been solved, so putting our brightest minds to work studying the natural world makes sense.

“Our experts at Uniroyal recognised the exceptional dispersal of water by shark skin and inspired by that developed some of the best performing tyres for wet weather braking.”

The research found that we believe that healthcare (55 per cent), energy generation (43 per cent) and food and farming (31 per cent) are the sectors that are likely to benefit most from biomimicry.

Other sectors to gain are in the areas of environmental protection, water conservation and transport.

Mark Griffiths adds: “Based on shark skin, Uniroyal ensures fantastic water dispersal on wet roads allowing vehicles to perform at their safest. When the tyre is able to get rid of surface water more quickly, it is less likely the car will aquaplane and the driver lose control.”

The study also found that a third of motorists are unaware that manufacturers develop tyres specifically for rain and wet conditions.

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