Fungi-Based Plastic Alternative Wins Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Excerpt from Mother Nature Network:

Photo: Ecovative Design

In addition to being one of 10 esteemed finalists in the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge, Ecovative Design — AKA the New York-based startup behind a game-changing bio-material that’s “grown” from agricultural waste and mushroom mycelia and can be used for packaging, insulation, and more — has won the sixth annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge…

Deemed as “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award” by Metropolis magazine, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge aims to “support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.” In this particular instance, the pressing problem at hand would be our reliance on highly polluting conventional plastics. With this big win, Ecovative Design has exemplified a famous quote from the late futurist, “gentle revolutionist,” and father of the geodesic dome himself, Buckminster Fuller: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

At a ceremony to be held next month at Cooper Union in New York City, the Brooklyn-based Buckminster Fuller Institute will award Ecovative’s young co-founders, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute grads Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer, with a $100,00 cash prize that will further enable the duo and their team to further drive landfill-clogging, petrochemical-based foam materials (Styrofoam) into obsoletion with an innovative — and home compostable — alternative.

Explains McIntyre: “We answered the Buckminster Fuller Challenge because we believe in the power of our people to make a real, positive impact. Today, Ecovative looks forward to further answering Bucky’s challenge, as we continue to innovate mycological biomaterials and reach an ideal state, with social and environmental considered equally with economics.”

Read the full article here.

More details about Ecovative can be found here.