To (probably mis-)quote a well-known war monger: This is not the beginning of the end but . . .

The End of the Beginning

The ontology was written using the open source editor Protégé downloaded from Stanford. There is a lot of information about using this editor on a Wiki at Stanford and on YouTube. Michael deBellis has written a very nice Tutor (see References)

I’ll put the ontology on to the web-based version of Protégé. It will be available with your registration, should you wish to help with this project. It’s a bit different from the desk-top version, but is a multi-user version. Send me an email ( to sign up as a helper and register.

The Wish-list


The ontology briefly described here is more a demonstration of principle than a product. I believe it functions as hoped.

It needs a front-end that can accept simple queries expressed as trade-offs, chosen from a list

It needs a back-end that can suggest one or more biomimetic solutions, perhaps with extra information and detail from relevant biological systems.

It needs MORE EXAMPLES OF BIOLOGICAL TRADE-OFFS. So far they have all been analysed by hand – a slow process. Ruben Kruiper has been developing s/w to at least do the initial steps (Find reports of trade-offs; winnow out those that don’t attempt to define solutions; suggest Parameters and Inventive Principles to suit). Curation will be necessary.

It needs more examples of engineering structures and materials that can expand the biomimetic recommendations.

It needs MORE PEOPLE TO HELP. Care to try for a funded project?

Julian Vincent July 2022