In recent decades, engineers have been studying examples from biology to inform industrial product designs. Biology has had millions of years to find elegant solutions under severe resource constraints, so it is prudent to examine natural systems to look for concepts to adapt for human purposes for resiliency. The common thread for both bio-inspired design and social enterprises is frugality—maximizing the use of available capital resources while delivering effective outcomes. For engineers at work in the 21st century, an emphasis on frugal engineering could provide multiple advantages.

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