Forbes has announced their 30 Under 30 list which features a pair of LAUNCH innovators from past challenges. Eben Bayer, 29 and Gavin McIntyre, 29 are recognized on the Forbes list for their work using mycelium to create mushroom-materials through their firm Ecovative. 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. Sam Harrington presented on behalf of Ecovative at our LAUNCH System Challenge: Fabrics Forum in 2014. Also featured on the Forbes list is Kiah Williams from SIRUM. SIRUM’s online platform connects unopened, unexpired medicines from health facilities, manufacturers and wholesalers with the needs of patients in safety-net clinics and coordinates all of a donation’s logistics including itemized drug manifests, tracking and shipping. SIRUM was chosen as a LAUNCH: Beyond Waste innovator in 2013. LAUNCH congratulates the Ecovative and SIRUM team members for their hard work and accomplishments leading to their placements on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
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 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.
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
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
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.