Growing biodegradable materials for a sustainable future

Ecovative uses mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, to grow biodegradable materials intended to replace harmful plastics and other synthetic materials in everyday product packaging. The company’s leaders worked with UB’s Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI) to move the technology forward.

Ecovative Gavin & Eben.

How Ecovative collaborates with UB


Accelerates R&D


Recruits Talent


Collaborates with Experts


Uses High-tech Equipment


Accesses Funding


Plastic waste overruns the oceans

Since plastic was introduced in the 1950s, over nine billion tons of plastic have been produced. More than 91% of waste from producing these synthetic polymers is not recycled, and eight million metric tons of post-consumer plastic winds up in our oceans every year. If plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050. The critical need to develop bio-based and earth-friendly materials has never been greater.

Ecovative Ocean Waste.
Ecovative packaging.


Planet-friendly packaging grows to fit need

Ecovative trains mushrooms’ thread-like roots to grow on pre-formed substrates fed with agricultural crop waste to create advanced materials that will biodegrade over time. The company’s biofabrication process allows it to control the geometry, density, size and shape of the complex material for applications that not only include planet-friendly packaging, but also skincare, apparel, plant-based meat and leather-like textiles. The company’s early advancements earned the attention of worldwide media and millions in investment capital.


R&D expertise leads to expansion

UB lent advanced manufacturing expertise, big data analytics and high-tech facilities and equipment to help Ecovative gain a better understanding of their raw material characteristics, fine-tune product outputs, speed the product to market and identify new market opportunities. 

Ecovative mushroom packaging.

When businesses and universities join forces, great impacts result

Resources for discovery and growth

Materials Informatics.

Leverage cutting-edge materials science, big data analytics and advanced manufacturing expertise through our Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics.

Advance your business goals, tackle complex challenges and make new discoveries by collaborating with our world-class researchers or engaging in sponsored research at UB.

Make immediate business impact by attracting top talent from our pool of more than 30,000 smart, diverse and driven students.