Biomimetics is a research field that is achieving particular prominence through an explosion of new discoveries in biology and engineering. The field concerns novel technologies developed through the transfer of function from biological systems. To analyze the impact of this field within engineering and related sciences, we compiled an extensive database of publications for study with network-based information analysis techniques. Criteria included publications by year and journal or conference, and subject areas judged by popular and common terms in titles. Our results reveal that this research area has expanded rapidly from less than 100 papers per year in the 1990s to several thousand papers per year in the first decade of this century. Moreover, this research is having impact across a variety of research themes, spanning robotics, computer science and bioengineering. In consequence, biomimetics is becoming a leading paradigm for the development of new technologies that will potentially lead to significant scientific, societal and economic impact in the near future.