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Sam Harrington

Sam Harrington's picture
Sam Harrington
Mushroom Materials

Organization: Ecovative Design LLC

What are Mushroom Materials?

Ecovative works with nature to replace plastics, foams, and other harmful materials with a new high performance, mycelium-based biomaterial platform technology.

THE PROBLEM

The most commonly used protective and insulating materials, like polystyrene, have extreme environmental impacts as well as allergic irritants and health concerns. A net positive impact requires eliminating the negative environmental impacts of production, growing products that sequester carbon, and a distribution system that restores nutrients back to Earth upon disposal.

THE INNOVATION

Ecovative’s technology resolves critical concerns for waste, energy, and consumer health. The products are a completely biodegradable replacement for polystyrene, packing material or insulation. They can withstand heat, stress and exposure to water, yet be composted in your back garden. This biotechnology is derived from mushrooms and can potentially replace numerous products that produce CO2 while permitting the ongoing utilization of otherwise low-value agricultural byproducts.

“These 3-D Myco Fabrics can be composted at the end of their useful life. Unlike many biopolymers such as PLA, these biomaterials can be composted in low temperature home compost piles, and they will break down naturally. Rather than becoming a burden on communities at the end of their useful life, Ecovative’s Mushroom Materials add nutrients to the soil.” – Sam Harrington, Ecovative

Stage of Innovation: Commercial market/Deployment

THE VISION

Ecovative’s long-term goal is to become the first bio-industrial age company with a net positive impact on the planet’s ecosystem. Its clean, energy efficient manufacturing process is comparable to indoor mushroom farming. The technology offers a platform designed to be scaled for local production of materials based on regional economies and agricultural supplies anywhere in the world.

“For Ecovative, the recycling and upcycling of nutrients is the gold standard for material systems. Ecovative’s long-term goal is to become the first bio-industrial age company with a net positive impact on the planet’s ecosystem.” – Sam Harrington, Ecovative

Download the Ecovative forum presentation

Related Challenge:

Innovator News

March 19, 2014

Wired.com features LAUNCH Alumni Ecovative in this article titled "This Lamp Is Grown From Mushrooms". Ecovative worked with Brooklyn-based studio Danielle Trofe Design to create the Mush Lume lamp. Wired writes, "Aesthetically, the Mush-Lume was crafted to pay homage to the unconventional material from which it sprang." Ecovative was on of 10 finalists chosen in the 2013 LAUNCH Systems Challenge.

October 23, 2013
We are proud to share that Ecovative, a LAUNCH: Systems innovator, has won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge this year.
"Each year, the Buckminster Fuller Institute awards $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a solution that has significant potential to solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems."
 
Ecovative works with nature to replace plastics, foams, and other harmful materials with a new high performance, mycelium-based biomaterial platform technology.
Congratulations Sam and team!