Gavin Joins Biopolymer Symposium 2013 in Chicago

Ecovative Chief Scientist Gavin McIntyre will participate in this year’s Biopolymer Symposium at Chicago’s Field Museum on June 11 and 12. In addition to attending conference events, Gavin will co-chair Wednesday afternoon’s session “Biopolymers from Novel Feedstocks and Developing Technologies.”

About the Biopolymer Symposium

At Biopolymers 2013, nearly 60 expert speakers will cover the most important industry issues including sustainable feedstocks; the use of biopolymers in compostable food service ware; rigid and flexible biopolymer packaging and single use applications; innovations in materials; strategic partnerships and more.

Small Business Administration Awards Tibbetts for Best SBIR

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has selected Ecovative as a 2013 recipient of the Tibbetts Award for excellence in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). Ecovative’s Chief Scientist, Gavin McIntyre, accepted the award in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, May 16.

According to the SBA, a study conducted by R&D Magazine between 2002 and 2006 concluded that 25 percent of the annual Top 100 Innovations came from companies that had received SBIR funding. In 2008, Ecovative received its first SBIR grant. Over the past five years, the company has achieved extensive progress toward the development of cost competitive and environmentally preferable biomaterials. In these efforts and accomplishments, the company has been supported by diverse forms of private and commercial funding, including five SBIR grants, three of which led to Phase II programs. Partnerships have included government agencies, academic institutions, and commercial representatives. Ecovative attributes its past successes and future opportunities to the many strategic decisions that have moved forward under a common, strongly supported mission to produce material products that offer safer, higher performing, and economically competitive choices.

The Tibbetts Award honors companies and individuals who demonstrate top quality performance in high technology research and deliver progress. Roland Tibbetts, founder of the SBIR program, joined SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Senator Mary Landrieu, Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in presenting 18 company awards and 3 individual awards for the 2013 event. After five years of research in the SBIR program, Ecovative is proud to join the SBA and the other award recipients in receiving this honor.

From The New Yorker: Form and Fungus by Ian Frazier

Ecovative’s past and future have been featured in The New Yorker’s May 20 innovation issue. Writer Ian Frazier conducted extensive interviews and research with our team members and supporters to understand and present the roots of our growth and the principles of Ecovative’s culture and focus. Frazier’s writing presents one of the best and most comprehensive written accounts of Ecovative to date.

New Yorker cover May 20, 2013The print edition will hit newsstands this week and access is available online for subscribers. Be sure to get your copy and share with friends or family.

Here’s a sneak preview:

Gavin McIntyre, the co-inventor of a process that grows all-natural substitutes for plastic from the tissue of mushrooms, holds a pen or pencil in an unusual way. Gripping it between two fingers of his right hand, he moves his arm across the paper so that his wrist grazes the inscribed line; because of this, he uses pens with ink that doesn’t smear. When he draws an explanatory diagram of the chitin molecule–chitin is the principal component of mycelium, the white, rootlike vegetative structure of fungi–he bends over his work, then looks up earnestly to see if his hearer has understood. The gesture makes him appear younger than his age, which is twenty-eight. He wears glasses and has straight black hair, dark eyes, and several piercings, with studs in his lip and ears.

The other co-inventor, Eben Bayer, won’t be twenty-eight until June. Bayer is almost six-five, and often assumes the benign expression of a large and friendly older brother. His hair is brown, short, and spiky, his face is long, and his self-effacing manner hides the grand ambitions that people who come from small towns (Bayer grew up in South Royalton, in central Vermont) sometimes have. When he says, of the company that he and McIntyre founded, “We want to be the Dow or DuPont of this century,” he is serious. He is their company’s C.E.O., McIntyre its Chief Scientist. People with money and influence have bet that they will succeed.

Formula Hybrid Racecar Puts Mushroom Materials In Motion

After months of designing and building including an Ecovative growing cycle, Rensselaer’s Formula Hybrid racing team has unveiled their 2013 racecar, The Heron. In addition to advanced performance from battery placement and lighter weight from material selection, the team of 19 students selected Ecovative to grow side impact bolsters to protect the car’s driver.

Ecovative scientists worked with the local team to design and grow custom shapes, specifically molded to the average driver’s body. While the competition does not regulate the performance of the side bolsters, judges prefer protection for the driver’s arm and chest. Ecovative’s solution allowed the Hybrid team to eliminate their traditional seat pan, reducing the weight of the seat with an upholstered aluminum seat plate.

Rensselaer Formula Hybrid will race at the 2013 International Formula Hybrid Competition April 29 – May 2 in Loudonville, NH. Ecovative wishes the team our best luck in driving the future of sustainable racing materials.

US Under Secretary of Commerce Patrick Gallagher Visits

Ecovative is honored to host Patrick Gallagher (a real physicist), Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology. Gallagher also serves as Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), promoting domestic innovation and competition in the industry through the advancement of measurement science, standards, and technology. Gallagher is a government overseer of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and he is also co-chair of the Standards Subcommittee under the White House National Science and Technology Council. NIST also houses the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership National Program Office.

As part of his visit and keynote speech at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gallagher’s visit included a tour of the facility, focusing on Ecovative’s technological advancement in collaboration with RPI, New York State agencies, and other area colleges and universities. In appreciation for his support of Ecovative’s partnerships and efforts, Gallagher received a home-grown, custom engraved Mushroom® Plaque.

Ecovative Celebrates National Ag Day 2013

GREEN ISLAND, NY, Tuesday, March 19, 2013 – Ecovative acknowledges the crucial support of New York State farmers to advance the development and commercialization of our material technology. Today marks the 40th year of National Ag Day celebrations but the first time Ecovative has had a chance to participate.

In 2012, with the support of farmers in Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Washington counties in New York, Ecovative acquired over one million pounds of corn stalks to produce and market Mushroom® Materials.

By working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Substrate Acquisition Specialist Karen Prime sourced local agricultural by-products in line with Ecovative’s commitment to reducing environmental impact through grown materials.

“Local is key because it reduces transportation and freight, delivering quality products to our customers at a lower cost,” Prime said.

According to the Agriculture Council of America, agriculture is America’s #1 export. Ecovative works with America’s #1 exporters to source corn stalks, so that each product maintains a sustainable life-cycle. Like many industries, new technology means farmers are more environmentally friendly than ever before. Ecovative is committed to collaborate on technologies that extend the environmental benefits of agriculture even further.

Ecovative CEO Eben Bayer extended an acknowledgement of the win-win-win relationship with each New York State farmer.

“New York State farmers are hard working. We’re proud to partner with them to provide another source of revenue, obtain the substrates we need, and offer products that build a better planet,” Bayer said. “This opportunity lets us share farmers, labor, and sunlight from New York State to build advanced manufacturing processes that support the economy and the environment.”

Ecovative looks forward to maintaining its commitment to building a circular economy, in partnership with America’s farmers and agricultural business leaders.

About National Ag Day
National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society. For more information, visit http://www.agday.org

About Ecovative
Founded in 2007, Ecovative is a materials science company developing a new class of home-compostable plastics based on mycelium, an organism akin to a living polymer. Ecovative’s high-performance products serve as environmentally responsible alternatives to traditional foam packaging, insulation, and other plastic-based materials. Ecovative was incubated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rensselaer, together with 3M Company and the DOEN Foundation, are significant investors in Ecovative. Ecovative has been recognized with numerous international awards for sustainability and “green” technologies, and was named a Tech Pioneer at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Ecovative’s growth has been fueled by grants, prizes, and support from key partners including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. For more information, visit www.ecovativedesign.com, www.mushroompackaging.com, and follow @ecovative on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Sam Harrington
Ecovative
(518) 273-3753 x1004
sam@ecovativedesign.com

Ecovative Wins RISE Award

Last month, Ecovative was awarded with the Durable Product Award at the RISE (Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics) Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Chief Scientist Gavin McIntyre and Environmental Director Sam Harrington accepted the award on behalf of the Ecovative team.

The RISE show brought together the global nonwovens/engineered materials value chain for two days of thought-provoking, boundary expanding discussions about the latest technical innovations and how they can be applied to help to create value-added, more competitive products. For more information, see sustainablenonwovens.net.