Ecovative is a Finalist for the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Green Island, NY, Oct 15 2013 – Ecovative’s Mushroom Material platform has been selected as a finalist in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, the prestigious annual design science competition named "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine. The Challenge awards $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a whole systems-based solution that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

Ecovative’s technology resolves critical concerns for waste, energy, and consumer health. Ecovative has harnessed the efficiency of fungi to literally grow an alternative that performs and costs the same as plastic, but is biobased and home compostable. An EPA study found that plastics comprise 25% of landfills by volume and expanded foams are the worst offenders. Petrochemical plastic foams notoriously blow away, becoming litter on land or in ocean gyres. As more cities recognize the hazards of foams, Ecovative offers viable alternatives that reduce waste. Today, companies switch from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) to Mushroom® Packaging, with added value from lower embodied energy.

“Our technology and mission directly answer the challenges posed by the Buckminster Fuller Institute,” said Gavin McIntyre, Chief Scientist and co-founder of Ecovative. “The news of our selection as a Finalist is exciting and motivating for Ecovative to continue revolutionizing materials for an ideal world.”

Since entering the Challenge, Ecovative has continued to expand the platform of its Mushroom Materials beyond protective packaging. Most recently, the team announced development of a surfboard core grown from Mushroom Materials. In November, as part of a continued commitment to develop sustainable building technologies, Ecovative will join major industry manufacturers at Greenbuild, the annual conference and exposition of the U.S. Green Building Council, promoting green building materials, techniques and products.

After a rigorous vetting process by the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s multi-disciplinary review team, which included an in-depth interview, followed by a review by a distinguished jury, Ecovative’s Mushroom Materials were chosen to be one of only five finalists out of the 300 entries from around the world this year.

The prize will be awarded to the winning entry in an evening ceremony at Cooper Union on November 18th, 2013. In addition to the top prize winner, Challenge sponsor, Interface Inc. will be awarding one of the finalists with significant incubation support. Stay tuned for program details—in the meantime, save the date and RSVP here.

About the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is the premier global competition recognizing initiatives that take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design approach to radically advance human well-being and the health of our planet’s ecosystems. The 2013 Finalists are providing visionary, workable solutions to some of the world’s most significant challenges. The Challenge is a program of The Buckminster Fuller Institute which aims to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.