HANKOOK i-Flex airless pull

JAN 2022

Hankook showed the first airless tire at Ces 2022 in Las Vegas: it is called i-Flex and, thanks to the collaboration with Hyundai, it was mounted on the modular Plug & Drive (PnD) platform of the South Korean manufacturer that allows the mobility of normally inanimate objects, robots and robotic concepts I-Flex is characterized by a biomimetic design, the result of science (biomimicry in fact) that studies and imitates the biological and biomechanical processes of nature and living beings as a source of inspiration for the improvement of human activities and technologies. It allows excellent shock absorption and considerable vertical load capacity, while the fact of not having air inside increases safety while reducing maintenance costs: having no air inside, it is not subject to punctures or leaks of pressure. Important qualities with a view to the mobility of the future with autonomous driving.

As for dimensions, the model seen at Ces is small, with a diameter of 400 mm and a width of 105 mm. As for the structure, to absorb the shocks of the road and be able to carry heavy loads, the Hankook technicians were inspired by the cellular structure of living organisms, with multilayer interconnections to connect the myriad of small hexagonal and tetragonal structures, of different stiffness for a more stable load support. In addition, the concave C-shaped tread profile ensures maximum contact patch on the road, maximizing safety. The tread - designed for the multidirectional movement of the vehicle - adopts the same characteristic honeycomb pattern of the inside of the tire.

auto123.com :

Revolutionary technology
Recently, Hankook tyres launched a brand new futuristic, even revolutionary tyre; the iFlex. These new wheels, which are made from synthetic polyurethane, are 95% recyclable. The sound comfort is said to be increased compared to a regular tyre and even the fuel consumption is said to be significantly reduced. In addition to being puncture resistant, the "airless", which is inspired by the tracks used on tanks and snowmobiles, has several advantages. 

Incomparable advantages 
Lighter than a regular tyre, the iFlex offers maximum shock absorption thanks to the notches in its structure. With no rims, this tyre is made up of a single component, maximising your safety. Such a tyre would be able to adapt to changes in the car and different types of road surfaces. In fact, when speed increases, the central band of the tyre sags, leaving a larger contact area with the ground, which favours grip. On the contrary, at low speeds, the central band retracts, limiting the surface of contact with the ground to the edges of the tyre, with the aim of reducing fuel consumption. This new technology is therefore simpler, more economical and environmentally friendly. For the time being, no date has been given by Hankook Tyres for the launch. 


Nature as a partner in transforming the world

We are a very small company with two partners and consultants. We offer skills assessments and training to support business leaders and their teams. One particular training course connects entrepreneurs with Nature in the broadest sense of the term. Our teachers are horses, wolves, trees, plants etc.



Sophie Marty Elissagaray



MYCOPHYTO, a Deep Tech start-up, is inventing tomorrow's agriculture with its mycorrhizal fungi, natural plant biostimulants

MYCOPHYTO was co-founded in 2017 by Justine LIPUMA, a doctor in microbiology, and Christine PONCET, an agricultural engineer. Spin off INRAE (INRA) and UCA (Université Côte d'Azur), it has received more than 12 awards since its creation.

MYCOPHYTO is to develop, produce and propose to agricultural professionals effective biological solutions by adapting scientific knowledge concerning mycorrhizal symbiosis.

A look back at the intervention of Mathilde Clément, R&D Manager, on the Biomim'expo stage in Marseille during the IUCN World Conservation Congress:



Jean-Nicolas Detourbet



SIGNS laboratories: innovative solutions for animal welfare

Products that improve the living conditions and emotional state of production animals, laboratory animals, zoo animals and even humans.

SIGNS (Semiochemicals for Innovation Gathering Novelty and Sustainability), created in 2018, is the patent valorisation agency of Group-IRSEA, a world leader in semiochemical research. The two entities have developed a range of products based on synthetic pheromones copying nature, thus reproducing the beneficial effects for the animal.

Created in 1995, the IRSEA research institute isolated and reproduced the first pheromone in cats (Feliway), thus opening up new ways of understanding and communicating between and within species. Since then, numerous applications have been developed, notably in dogs (Adaptil) and horses (ConfidenceEQ / Equanimity) as well as in livestock (pigs, poultry, rabbits, sheep, goats, cattle, etc.).

The SIGNS laboratories are responsible for the development and marketing of products resulting from IRSEA research

IRSEA holds more than 300 patents and SIGNS Laboratories are in charge of developing and marketing the products resulting from this research. Today, SIGNS Laboratories market these pheromones and bring you natural and environmentally friendly products that meet the criteria of well-being and productivity.

Back to Alessandro Cozzi's intervention on the Biomim'expo stage in Marseille during the IUCN World Conservation Congress:




Head of the Communication Department Group-IRSEA

(+33) 4 90 75 06 12



Marine restoration solutions


Ecocean is a pioneering French company that acts and innovates in favour of aquatic biodiversity. Riparian and coastal areas are increasingly affected by human activities and many young fish in shallow areas are faced with a lack of natural habitats. In the life cycle of coastal marine fish, post-larvae (newborns) return to the shoreline and look for a suitable habitat for their development (nursery). However, this habitat is often degraded by human constructions: it is therefore necessary to act!

The origin: in 2003, ECOCEAN developed a unique know-how, that of the collection and breeding of post-larvae (PCC) for the sustainable development of marine resources and the conservation of the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. Ecocean has become the world leader in the PCC technique and has been granted Young Innovative Company status since its creation. It is also supported by the BPI. Our various experiences in the marine environment have enabled us to develop various exclusive applications in post-larvae capture and rearing techniques. Today, these applications are based on 4 areas of expertise: sustainable breeding, ecological restoration, the sale of fishing and breeding gear, and diagnosis.


Ecocean keeps a tight rein on marine biodiversity



Sabrina PALMIERI sabrina.palmieri@ecocean.fr


IN SITU ARCHITECTURE is an architectural firm run by two associated DPLG architects, Nicolas Vernoux-Thélot and Jérôme Lanici. The firm works on a wide range of programmes: housing, hotels, offices, facilities, mainly in France and occasionally abroad.

IN SITU ARCHITECTURE won the Prix grand public de l'architecture in 2010 and the European 40 architects under 40 award in 2016. IN SITU works in close collaboration with the RDP laboratory, Reproduction and Development of Plants, which is one of the biology laboratories of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CNRS. RDP is one of the world leaders in interdisciplinary analysis of plant development.

IN SITU ARCHITECTURE is the 2016 winner of the European 40 under 40 architects award. Its Nianing church project is a winner of the international Architecture Masterprize 2019, Global Architecture and Design Award 2019 and nominated for the Green Solution Award, Carré d'Or and the AFEX World Grand Prize in 2020.

IN SITU LAB IN SITU LAB is a technical and research consultancy led by two partners, Nicolas Vernoux-Thélot, architect DPLG, and Teva Vernoux, Doctor of Plant Biology. IN SITU LAB has expertise in the fields of :

  • the design of new materials, passive devices and construction systems with a very low environmental footprint
  • the design of biomimetic methods and software tools to assist in the design of passive and low carbon building forms;
  • and more generally, sustainable architectural and urban design (resilience, self-sufficiency, natural light, bioclimatism, biomimicry, recycling...)


Some video clips

Join the Vernoux brothers in tandem on this podcast:


For this new episode: biomimicry & architecture. Or when our buildings are inspired by living things to better integrate into their environment.  

Two brothers, an architect and a biologist, are combining their research efforts to develop solutions for the construction and renovation of energy-efficient buildings that are directly inspired by nature. An interview to find out how biomimicry can bring architecture into the era of ecological and energy transition.

To be listened to without moderation here

The portrait page in the Biomim'BOOK 2021 :

The Biomim'Galerie boards dedicated to IN SITU Architecture research work:

News: Nianing church recognised and nominated :

  • The Awards :

AFEX / March 2020 / The building is selected as a finalist for the AFEX World Grand Prix

International Design Award / January 2020 / Honorable mention for the church in Nianing.

ARCHITECTURE MASTERPRIZE / September 2019 / Nianing Church is a winner: CHURCH NIANING - Winner in Architectural Design / Misc. Architecture

Global Award and Design Award / August 2019 / Nianing church is a winner: First Award | Category: Cultural (Built)

Faith & Form / July 2019 / US newspaper awards Nianing church 2019 excellence award: 2019 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture

  • The Press speaks about it:

THE MONITOR / March 2020 / The newspaper announces the 10 nominees for the AFEX World Grand Prix and begins its ranking with the church in Nianing: Afex Grand Prix 2020: the 10 nominated operations

CNRS JOURNAL / January 2020 / Article on the work of IN SITU and RDP, illustrated by the church of Nianing: When architecture imitates nature

ECOLOGIK / January 2020 / The magazine publishes a full page on the church of Nianing: A church in the shape of a shell by In Situ Architecture

THE WORLD / December 2019 / Nianing Church featured in a large 3-page article on biomimicry: How to build sustainable cities inspired by nature

THE MONITOR / October 2019 / A full page on the church of Nianing : Senegal - A church inspired by the living

CONSTRUCTION 21 / September 2019 / Special mention to the church in Nianing and article on passive ventilation in a hot climate: The context of the church in Nianing

FOR SCIENCE / May-June 2019 / Double page on the Nianing church and its bio-inspired passive ventilation principle from the Senegalese termite mound. The biomimetic approach and the partnership between IN SITU ARCHITECTURE and the RDP laboratory are highlighted: Church, termites and shells

The research programme :

A MULTI-SCIPLINARY TEAM: a unique partnership between an architectural firm and a biology laboratory that brings together architects, biologists, engineers and researchers in a transversal manner.


Plants are our main source of inspiration. Their analysis allows us to understand and reproduce the underlying mechanisms of biodiversity in terms of ecological resilience, robustness, productivity, energy efficiency, stability, self-organisation, intra-population communication, etc.

Depending on the climate and their geographical location, buildings are designed according to forms adapted to environmental stimuli: sunlight, light, wind, temperature, humidity, etc.

The implementations are designed to avoid waste and to use simple and economical technologies with the aim of achieving optimal and sustainable energy efficiency.

Like plants, we conceive biomimetic architecture as a system that optimises its form and habitability in response to geoclimatic constraints.

CASE STUDY: A bio-inspired architecture based on plant phyllotaxis:

The layout of the buildings and their orientation are based on the same organisational principle as the plants. Like leaves, the flats all benefit from direct sunlight. This layout was calculated by a biomimetic algorithm that optimises the density of the building and the solar gain.

The benefit is twofold: it reduces energy consumption by using the passive energy of the sun and increases the health of the users by regulating their biorhythm.


  • Modelling of biological systems
  • Transfer to an architectural, urban or territorial model
  • Bioclimatic parametric design
  • 3D generative algorithm
  • 3D environmental impact assessment
  • 3D energy simulation



Nicolas Vernoux-Thélot, founder


about the Biomim'City Lab :

The Biomim'City Lab is a working and prospective group led by a college of experts aiming to promote and intensify innovative collaborative approaches applying the principles and methodologies of biomimicry, in the service of the reinvention of virtuous, regenerative and resilient cities, inspired and designed by and for living things.


The presentation

The manifesto


The EEL tidal turbine, energy conversion by undulating membrane.

  • The EEL Energy membrane optimises energy transfer by fluid/structure coupling. This induces a corrugation of the membrane.
  • The membrane undulates under the pressure of the moving fluid. These periodic deformations of the structure are transformed into electricity via an electromechanical system.
  • Energy is converted all along the membrane.
  • A control loop optimises the energy collection according to the incident current.
  • The technology is internationally patented.
The intervention of EEL Energy with the 3DEXPERIENCELab and Techniques de l'Ingénieur during the Biomim'expo digital week 2020
The intervention of EEL Energy and its partners at Biomim'expo 2019

The board of the Biomim'gallery :

The film Nature=Future:

The portrait page in the Biomim'BOOK 2021 :

Press releases :


DNA / MAR 2020 / Energy: 5 French companies want to change the game

ACTU-ENVIRONMENT / MAR 2019 / EEL Energy refines its tidal turbine inspired by fish swimming

CONSOGLOBE / MAR 2019 / Eel Energy: a wave turbine to produce electricity

NEW FACTORY / MAR 2019 / Eel Energy, a tidal turbine inspired by the undulation of eels

LES ECHOS / MAR 2019 / Eel Energy tests its new tidal turbine prototype at Ifremer

ENERGIES OF THE SEA / FEB 2019 / A 2nd thesis on the EEL Energy tidal turbine



Franck Sylvain, CEO, fsylvain@eel-energy.fr