I was actually in the audience at the Bioneers 2016, when John Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and sponsor of the grand prize in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, announced that the two Camilas (Camila Hernadez and Camila Gretacos) won the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize. To be honest, I actually thought the two of them were BioNurses. What I found out later is that they were part of the BioNurse team from the Ceres Regional Center for Fruit and Vegetable Innovation in Chile. There are many reasons this BioNurse’s BioPatch design received this prestigious award and they are all about creating healthy soil, being waste-free, self-sustaining and low cost. The BioPatch was inspired by nature and the design mimics the way hardy “nurse” plants establish themselves in degraded soils and pave the way for new plant species to grow. Simply put, they are one solution to ways we can feed a global population by developing biomimetic solutions to climate change. Prepare to be fascinated and filled with hope.  This show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.



  • What is BioNurse: Generating Spaces for Life? It is a project designed by Camila and others in Chile for the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. They won 3rd place in the Food Systems 2015 challenge and won the $100,000 Ray of Hope award!
  • Camila and her team (the bionurses) observed plants that were able to grow in some of Chile’s harsh environments and asked “Where are living spaces generated in the soil?”.
  • They produced a “biopatch” which is a biodegradable product that is created from a patch of agricultural crops (like corn), taken to a nursery where restorative plant species are grown in it, then given to farmers who suffer from poor soils. The “biopatch” helps restore the health of the soil that could be degraded by compaction, erosion, and other conditions.
  • Soils around the world are being depleted at an incredible rate due to conventional agricultural practices, listen to the full podcast and learn more about how the work of BioNurse can transform our food systems! 


  • Visit the Biomimicry Institute’s Website
  • Check out Biomimicry Institute Facebook and the Centro Regional Cere’s Facebook page
  • Follow the Biomimicry Institute on Twitter
  • Follow Biomimicry Institute on Instagram


  • Excited about biomimicry and want to learn more about it? Visit AskNature for details!
  • Remember! Spending time outdoors and knowing about biomimicry can offer a whole new way of seeing the world. What do you notice about the different plants and animals in your area? What patterns do you see?