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Absorbent Fungal Biocomposites For Use As Soilless Growth Mediums

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2014-00241
Agency Tracking Number: 2014-00241
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.2
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
Troy, NY 12183-1518
United States
DUNS: 806335977
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sarah Araldi
 Senior Biologist
 (518) 273-3753
Business Contact
 Gavin McIntyre
Title: Chief Scientist
Phone: (518) 273-3753
Research Institution

Soilless growth mediums widely used throughout the horticultural industry are either synthetic in origin, or require synthetic chemicals and energy-intensive processing. Ecovative & #39;s biomaterial consists of a self-assembling moldable mass of fungal mycelium, which acts as a biological resin that achieves cohesion to domestic agricultural lignocellulosic waste for the growth of a soilless growth medium. Fungal soilless growth medium has three distinct competitive advantages over the current state of the art (SOTA): it is low cost, uses waste streams as its primary inputs, and is completely biodegradable after use.The proposed research will pursue objectives dedicated to examining the material and chemical characteristics of the medium to best support seed germination and growth. The final objective will determine the biodegradability of the biocomposite. All samples will be tested against three industry standard products, via American standards for materials properties. The composites will be tested in real-world scenarios, supporting the growth of three of the most popular seed varieties in greenhouse/hydroponic conditions. Ecovative biologists will monitor and observe every step of the growth and treatment process.The goal of developing the absorbent mycological composite technology is to provide a new technology that: enhances food production by developing an improved and sustainable production system, and provides a green alternative to the current synthetic materials on the market. This biotechnology gives American agriculture a value-add product for their waste streams, it reduces their dependence on foreign oil, and provides the industry with a biotechnology product that they can export to support agriculture the world over, continuing to give the sector a positive trade balance in the US economy. Ecovative & #39;s biomaterial is experiencing market pull from international agricultural firms, which could further exports of US agricultural byproducts that are transformed in this revolutionary manufacturing process. Pending successful results, the Phase I development will directly inform the material samples supplied to a leader in the agricultural industry for pilot trials. This project will be deemed successful if it provides a biotechnology that is low-cost, high-performance, and compostable.

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

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