Mushroom Materials Take Top Honors at 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge


Buckminster Fuller once said (and is often quoted as saying) “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

One company has exemplified that ideal with their innovative eco-materials, and taken top honors at the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge as a result.

“The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.” – BFI

Ecovative’s innovative bio-plastic is not only home-compostable, but it’s also made from a living, renewable, organism: mushroom mycelia.

“[Ecovative’s] approach, from inception to production, is an extraordinary example of the core tenets of The Buckminster Fuller Challenge’s entry criteria, which require the winning solution to be comprehensive, anticipatory, ecologically responsible, feasible, replicable, and verifiable. From the materials science underpinning their work to the commitment to rewrite the rules regarding the structure and financing of a startup company, Ecovative is a ground-breaking enterprise.” – BFI

According to the company, Ecovative’s high-performance materials use agricultural waste, along with the naturally efficient process of mycelium, to deliver a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastics and styrofoam, for the same cost as conventional materials.

“We grow materials made from agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium. Mycelium is a natural, self-assembling glue, digesting crop waste to produce cost-competitive and environmentally responsible materials that perform.” – Ecovative

For their revolutionary clean tech solution, Ecovative will receive a $100,000 cash prize from the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI).

Some background on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge:

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!