Testimonials

  • "Nature has been doing R&D for over 3 billion years, and we’re just trying to learn from that"

    Why did you choose this Master’s?

    When I saw the brochure of this programme stating: a mixture of nature, sustainability and innovation, I was sold. According to me, the combination of these three fields is the key to saving the world in the long run. Sustainability cannot go without innovation and looking at nature. In fact, nature has been doing R&D for over 3 billion years, and we’re just trying to learn from that. My hesitations for this Master’s were particularly based on my background, but with a crash course in biology it was no problem anymore.

    What characterizes this Master?

    A thing to keep in mind about this Master’s programme is the amount of self-reliance. This Master's programme dives right into a totally new area of science and research. And as much as pioneering comes with new opportunities and exiting prospects, it also implies the responsibility to design your own study path and to decide what you want to get out of this programme.

    What is the relevance of your study?

    This study is, in my opinion, the most relevant one can dive into. In the long run, at least, it is all about making sure there will be an earth to live on for future generations, and that is exactly what we’re trying to figure out. It is thrilling to engage in such a field of knowledge and potential. In my opinion, this field will exponentially grow in the next few years. Jobs are to be found everywhere, and in virtually every industry, since changing the world means changing everything. You could be a researcher for the airplane industry, or an expert in organic clothing fabrics: as long as you engage in the study for the right reasons; to make the world more sustainable and circular, by learning from nature.

    If you had to do it over, would you select this Master’s again?

    I would definitely select this Master’s again, since the field of Biomimicry is even more exciting than I expected, and possibilities in terms of combining nature, sustainability and innovation are endless. Besides that, the people linked to this study – students and staff – are very nice and always willing to help. However, I would strongly recommend to keep in mind that this Master’s is very young, implying that things are not always very structured and straightforward. This might be confusing. However, with the right proactive attitude, everything is possible.

    Roy van den Berg, student

     

  • "This master’s programme encourages you to think critically about current world views and teaches you how to view society from nature’s point of view"

    Why this Master’s?
    I chose this Master’s as it seemed like a very interdisciplinary program. This I found to be true. The things you learn are not exclusive to a very specific field of study. It is more about how to apply your own specific set of knowledge to a new way of thinking, and what you can do with that knowledge. If I look at my fellow students, I notice that we come from many different places and have different fields of interest.

    What do you like about Bio Inspired Innovation?
    Far-out the best thing about this Master’s is the many paths you can choose and many options you are given. The research projects take up the majority of credits and these are also where you get the most freedom. For my Major Research Project I got to do field work in the rain forest of French Guiana, which was an incredible experience. For my Minor I am joining a program in southern Spain where I help farmers rebuild their degraded land into a more balanced system. However, if you do not want to go abroad, there are many opportunities in Utrecht and other parts in the Netherlands as well. 

    This master’s programme encourages you to think critically about current world views and teaches you how to view society from nature’s point of view. To view our society from a different perspective has been a total eye-opener to me. I came to realize that in this society we are detaching ourselves from nature more and more. In order to keep going forwards, we must work together to develop strategies that are in the interest of a society in which nature is both a means and an end.

    Are there any downsides?
    The fact that the internships play such a big role in this programme can also be a downside. If you consider this programme you have to realize that with freedom comes responsibility, and you do have to arrange a nice internship yourself. It is not done for you. This could mean that, in the end, your internship might not be the thing you really want to do. It also means that this programme is not very intensive course-wise, as it does not offer 2 years full of courses.

    Matthijs Roobeek, student

     

  • "Biologists will be able to directly contribute to a more sustainable world"

    What do you like about the Master's programme?

    The programme is very flexible and you can tailor your curriculum to fit your interests. This is particularly advantageous for those that have managed to define their topic of interest even in broader terms. Yet, I would not say that the BII programme is only for the ones that have a specific path in their mind. I started off uncertain of my field of interest, but during my studies developed a fascination for the production of biomaterials around which I have evolved most of my curriculum.

    As an alumn, what do you hope for the future?

    I believe that we have reached a point in the global development where people are aware of the necessity of having the human made processes be in sync with the natural ones. Therefore biologists, in particular those trained in interdisciplinary work, will be able to directly contribute to a more sustainable co-inhabitation of this planet. For example, in future I see myself developing alternatives to the oil based materials that are dominant in the modern day society.

    Anete Salmene, student 

     

  • "Biomimicry has inspired Interface to find its way in the circular economy"

    Geanne van Arkel

    Working like an ecosystem and sharing lessons from nature is crucial in today's challenging times. It not only brought us market leadership in the field of modular flooring, but also a more resilient company. Already in the 90's, biomimicry has inspired Interface to find its way in the circular economy. Great to see that there will be more biologists a the design table thanks to this programme, being able to bridge the language barrier between science, business and society

    Geanne van Arkel, Head of Sustainable Development Interface 

     

  • "We can only solve the issues of the future if we work across disciplines and learn from the way nature is working"

    At ‘the Green Minds’ we are working on the new economy by bringing scientist and companies together. Together, they handle complex issues, aiming for a positive societal, ecological and financial impact. We face the problem that most knowledge is driven by a single discipline, while most problems in the world are interdisciplinary of origin. We can therefore only solve the issues of the future if we work across disciplines and learn from the way nature is working. We are more than happy that there will be a new interdisciplinary Master’s programme with a focus on learning from nature. We are looking forward to come in contact and to work together in specific projects. We need you guys.

    Antoine Heideveld, Director of Het Groene Brein