National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center


PeTaL (Periodic Table of Life) is intended to be a design tool to enable systematic design of nature-inspired systems. This requires vast quantities and high quality data, images, videos, publications and other forms of input. A large user base is also needed to obtain feedback and to ensure the value of PeTaL to various user demographics and design philosophies. V.I.N.E. (Virtual Interchange for Nature-inspired Exploration) was created to meet the aforementioned requirements for PeTaL on August 2, 2016, by establishing a convergence of practitioners, disciplines, bio-inspired philosophy, tools and research. V.I.N.E. and PeTaL were introduced at the first annual  National Biomimicry Summit and Education Forum for Aerospace (renamed to Biocene in 2018) by the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) and Great Lakes Biomimicry, in collaboration with NASA. V.I.N.E. is intended to be a sustainable, cross-geographical, 24×7 online workspace.  With nature-inspired exploration as its driving philosophy, V.I.N.E seeks to solve NASA’s biggest challenges, with the help of subject matter experts from academia, industry, and other government agencies.

The long-term research vision of PeTaL and V.I.N.E. is to create nature-inspired autonomous, self-sufficient, sustainable systems that are responsive to their environments. This will require the integration of biom*, bionics and other nature-inspired design tools to guide users through the design process. These tools include biology-to-engineering and engineering-to-biology translation, ontologies, data storage and analysis tools, solution analysis and selection methods.  Consideration will be given to interfaces, education systems, and organization theories.

The V.I.N.E. ecosystem is growing. Interested in connecting with nature-inspired researchers?  View this list of V.I.N.E. research clusters.  If you would like to learn more about these clusters, email