Introduction to Biomimicry

By Shiva Subramaniam, Prof. Sivakumar Srinivasan, Prof. Satya Seshadri, Mrinalini   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 577
About the Course:
Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human challenges. Examples of biomimicry include everything from energy-producing solar cells that mimic tree leaves to antibacterial paints that emulate sharkskin to highly profitable businesses that improve their organizational structures based on redwood groves. Biomimicry is based on the principle that nature, with 3.8 billion years of wisdom, offers time-tested solutions to all our problems. We do not need to reinvent the strategies that are already here. We just need to learn how to adapt them.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: All interested learners.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: All companies interested in research, innovation and entrepreneurship
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Multidisciplinary
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 25 Sep 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:Introduction  
Week 2:UN Sustainable Development Goals 
Week 3:Systems Thinking, Curiosity 
Week 4:Creativity tools, Design thinking
Week 5:Biomimicry essentials
Week 6:From problem definition to solution
Week 7:From problem definition to solution
Week 8:Biomimicry and the future of innovation

Books and references

  1. Biomimicry for Business - Margo Farnsworth
  2. Biomimicry - Innovation Inspired by Nature - Janine M. Benyus

Instructor bio

Shiva Subramaniam

IIT Madras
Shiva is a life skills coach and consultant, specialising in innovation, entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural skills. In his career spanning over 3 decades, he has worked with a multitude of organizations, teams, and individuals, helping them with new ways of thinking, exploring connections, expanding their vision and realizing their potential. As a life skills coach for young engineering students, he is particularly interested in looking for connections between STEM skills and non-STEM skills and how one set of skills can enhance the other. Shiva is a biomimicry evangelist. He teaches biomimicry to young students with the intention of transforming them to become not just innovators but also sustainability champions. With his penchant to look for connections, he is exploring how coaching can be enhanced through biomimicry. He is a lawyer by training and was practicing at the High Court at Chennai.

Prof. Sivakumar Srinivasan

Prof. Siva, fondly called Anbudan Siva, is a Professor of Applied Mechanics at IIT Madras specializing in the area of Active Material Structures and Systems. He holds a B.Tech (1985) and an M.S. (1987) both from IIT Madras and a Ph.D. degree (1993) from the Louisiana State University for his thesis in the area of plasticity. He has been with IIT Madras as a faculty since 1994. As Dean of Students at IIT Madras, he holds pride of place in creating and anchoring several new initiatives to enhance the emotional and professional growth of students. He established MITR - a network to provide students with emotional and counselling support. He is the midst of anything to do with the welfare of students.

Prof. Satya Seshadri

Prof. Satya is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics at IIT Madras. He has a PhD from Texas A&M University in aerosol science. His research focus is on indigenous technology development and translation of technology from lab to market in the domains for energy recovery and industrial emission monitoring. He has 4 granted patents and 5 patent filings in these domains. He is also the coordinator for the energy committee of the Centre for Technology and Policy at IIT Madras and member of the energy committee at the South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI). He is the faculty advisor for Centre for Innovation (CFI) and the Nirmaan pre-incubation center at IIT Madras.


Mrinalini is the co-founder of the Biomimicry Compass that enables companies, educational institutions and other organizations use the practice of biomimicry to solve problems and innovate on products, processes and services. She has held many executive positions throughout her career in technology, product management, strategy, innovation and knowledge management, and has headed cross-disciplinary teams locally and globally. She graduated in engineering from BITS, Pilani and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25 September 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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