Ecovative: Mushroom Biomaterial Technology

This solution addresses waste, energy, and consumer health in North America and Europe for product manufacturers and shippers

  • Lifecycle

Problem Description

Plastic foams are made from finite and often-harmful petrochemicals, don’t biodegrade, and contribute to growing waste in landfills and our environment. As more cities recognize the hazards of many traditional materials, there is a gap on the supply side for alternatives to foam packaging, insulation, and other synthetics. These alternatives need to be not only environmentally friendly, but high-performing and cost-competitive as well. Ecovative’s biomaterial platform technology resolves critical concerns for waste, energy, and consumer health by working with nature to grow an alternative. The innovative materials science company uses local agricultural waste as feedstock to grow fungal mycelia that can be formed into a host of byproducts, from packaging materials to building insulation and car components.

Building Blocks

Story

Founders Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre developed the core ideas underpinning their products and
production methods while studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where
teacher and mentor Burt Swersey challenged his students to develop marketable,
innovative and profitable products that could at the same time improve the world.

Since then Ecovative has grown measurably. In 2015 Ecovative opened a full-scale 20,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Troy, NY for production of Mushroom Packaging.

Photos

  • Lifecycle

Organisations Involved

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Developing and implementing5
Strong leadership, management, implementation skills
  • Policy design
  • Programme design
  • Business modelling
  • Organisational design
  • Prepare for some adaptation to implementation
MEDIUM
  • Programme funds, equity, loans, grants
HIGH
A robust and detailed case developed through formal evaluation and evidence gathering – use of a control group to isolate impact
An implemented and sustainable innovation

Key Details

Activity