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Biologicalisation: Biological Transformation in Manufacturing

2018-05, Byrne, Gerald, Dimitrov, Dimitri, Monostori, Laszlo, et al.

A new emerging frontier in the evolution of the digitalisation and the 4th industrial revolution (Industry4.0) is considered to be that of “Biologicalisation in Manufacturing”. This has been defined by the authorsto be “The use and integration of biological and bio-inspired principles, materials, functions, structures andresources for intelligent and sustainable manufacturing technologies and systems with the aim of achievingtheir full potential.” In this White Paper, detailed consideration is given to the meaning and implications of“Biologicalisation” from the perspective of the design, function and operation of products, manufacturingprocesses, manufacturing systems, supply chains and organisations. The drivers and influencing factorsare also reviewed in detail and in the context of significant developments in materials science andengineering. The paper attempts to test the hypothesis of this topic as a breaking new frontier and toprovide a vision for the development of manufacturing science and technology from the perspective ofincorporating inspiration from biological systems. Seven recommendations are delivered aimed at policymakers, at funding agencies, at the manufacturing research community and at those industries involvedin the development of next generation manufacturing technology and systems. It is concluded that it isvalid to argue that Biologicalisation in Manufacturing truly represents a new and breaking frontier ofdigitalisation and Industry 4.0 and that the market potential is very strong. It is evident that extensiveresearch and development is required in order to maximise on the benefits of a biological transformation.