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SBIR Phase II: Sustainable alternative protein cultivation from fungal mycelium for human consumption

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1926981
Agency Tracking Number: 1926981
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-07-31
Small Business Information
973 5th st, Boulder, CO, 80302
DUNS: 073535378
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Justin Whiteley
 (408) 656-6126
Business Contact
 Justin Whiteley
Phone: (408) 656-6126
Research Institution
The broader impact and commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project is a new source of human-grade protein that it can be produced at an estimated half the price of wholesale chicken and 2000 times higher protein yields per acre compared to soy with a fraction of the input requirements. The new protein addresses pain points in industry of potential allergens, amino acid composition, poor flavor and texture, and limited processability. If successfully commercialized, Emergy's potential impact is the ability to provide high quality protein to millions of people at 50% the price of animal protein, while saving the world greenhouse gas emissions, all with a significantly reduced land footprint. This SBIR Phase II proposes to use the efficiencies of biological organisms to produce high quality, economical, and sustainable protein for human consumption. To achieve this goal, Emergy grows filamentous fungi biomass as a human-grade protein source. The fungal biomass has one of the highest protein contents of any raw source available on the market (60% by weight) and is one of the only complete proteins. Emergy has developed fermentation parameters and used directed evolution to produce a fungal process/strain that provides several inherent advantages over traditional protein production methods. Advantages of production include, low resource requirements, high yields, safe and toxin free, and low unit costs. While this process has been demonstrated at the benchtop level, the technical hurdles include scaling production to industrial systems while maintaining the proper texture and quality. Emergy Labs plans on executing these goals by optimizing growth conditions in scaled bioreactors, defining industrial operating parameters, designing and proving a scalable manufacturing process, and demonstrating commercially relevant scale. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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