Richard James MacCowan FRSA


Richard is the Founder & Managing Director of Biomimicry UK | Innovation Lab. He has a background in real estate finance and development from Heriot-Watt University, where graduated top of the entire Faculty of the Built Environment and was awarded the prestigious Watt Club Medal for distinction in the final academic year, and one of the top 18 graduates from the entire university. 

In addition, Richard holds a Masters in Urban Design (distinction) from the Leeds School of Architecture and recognised with design awards from both Gillespies and a national design award from the Urban Design Group. He has a focus on asset management, behavioural economics, design and water innovation that has seen him work with some of the world's largest companies around the world. Richard doesn't work in one specific field but translates his skills from one sector to the next.

Richard has given talks and workshops around the world, from Milan Design Week to Montenegro and India. The talks range from superyacht designers through to innovation in multi-national companies. This key links in all of this are behavioural change and system-thinking. Looking to nature for potential solutions is not possible without undertaking these crucial steps first.

Alongside his work in biomimicry, Richard is the CEO of Smart Stable Limited, a technology company focusing on equine health. He lives in York with his growing family and enjoys running and trying to play basketball.

notable projects

Billion-dollar asset transfer of stock and building portfolio for a global manufacturing company with assets across Europe.

Multi-million dollar mixed-use portfolio sales of property across the UK.

Project manager for the Lego Centre for Children in Billund, Denmark.

Asset management for Grovenor's Liverpool One development.

Design lead for the Wakefield Kirkgate Gateway framework.

Masterplan and vision for the Wakefield Civic Quarter.

HydroNations Leadership Series.

workshops + talks

Milan Design Week | SuperYacht Design Week | The Royal College of Art | Central St. Martins | Smart Systems Integration Hungary | Green CultureFest Montenegro | VIT University India | London College of Fashion | University of Dundee | The Disruptive Innovation Festival | European Environment Agency | Future City Festival | Dundee Science Festival


complex problem-solving | systems-thinking | behavioural economics | business valuations | portfolio analysis | urbanism | asset management | product design | service design | packaging materials | industrial ecology | landscape design | green infrastructure | manufacturing innovation | water management innovation


The Circular Economy Club | The Urban Design Group | The Royal Society of the Arts | The European Biomimicry Alliance | Global Biomimicry Network | The Hiscox Business Club | One Planet York | BioVale | HydroNations | The Living Building Challenge | The Institute of Water

Using Format