Maurice Holland Award Winners Discuss Biomimicry in the Front-End of Innovation

FORT WORTH, TX (October 4, 2017) – Biomimicry, the emulation of biology in product and service design, is gaining popularity among R&D leaders. Emily Kennedy, Director of External Relations for the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center at The University of Akron, and Thomas Marting, Facilities and Resources Management Director at GOJO Industries, are this year’s winners of the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) Maurice Holland Award for their article published in Research-Technology Management (RTM)’s July-August 2016 issue. The authors of this year’s award winning article, “Biomimicry: Streamlining the Front-End of Innovation for Environmentally Sustainable Products,” have helped advance the study of biomimicry by quantifying and qualifying the advantages of its application for solution discovery.

“Biomimicry is an important new practice for innovation managers in industry,” said Jim Euchner, RTM Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear. “The fact that it leverages solutions developed in nature often makes those solutions sustainable. It is truly an honor to highlight a study that we can point to that might help a company better utilize them.”

The winning article was selected according to the criteria of significance to the field of R&D, technology, and innovation management; originality of new management concepts; and excellence in clarity of presentation. The research presented explores the application of biomimicry at GOJO Industries, a leading global producer and marketer of skin health and hygiene solutions and the inventor of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, as a way to drive environmentally sustainable product innovation. Their research suggests that biomimicry may be a low-risk, high-return approach for driving innovation and sustainability that merits further investigation by R&D leaders and researchers.

The awards ceremony for the Maurice Holland Award is held at an annual Member Summit hosted by IRI. This year, approximately 150 of the nation’s R&D and innovation thought leaders gathered to talk about strategic challenges in R&D talent management.

For a copy of the award-winning article, “Biomimicry: Streamlining the Front-End of Innovation for Environmentally Sustainable Products,” you can download it on the IRIweb.


About IRI

The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of nearly 150 industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit

About Research-Technology Management

Research-Technology Management (RTM) is IRI’s award-winning, bi-monthly journal focused on the practice of innovation. Since 1958, RTM has published peer-reviewed articles that map the cutting edge in R&D management, illustrate how management theory can be applied to real situations, and give leaders of research, development, and engineering the tools to promote innovation throughout their organizations. For more information, visit