Ecovative Design has been awarded a contract valued at up to $9.1 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop next generation building materials: living materials that are more versatile, more efficient, and more cost effective in rapidly creating structures, by literally growing those structures in places where they are needed.
Ecovative, the pioneer and world leader in the design and manufacturing of mycelium-based biomaterials, will work in collaboration with leading researchers in synthetic biology, biochemistry, and systems biology from Columbia University, New York University (NYU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This four-year project aims to create these living systems, and to demonstrate that the materials can be manufactured at scale.
The U.S. Department of Defense, of which DARPA is a part, must at times establish shelters or other structures for military or civilian purposes in unfamiliar or under-resourced environments. Imagine a U.S. military unit arriving in a conflict zone, or a humanitarian disaster site, and creating its base of operations by literally growing building materials or the required structures themselves – shelter, barriers, furniture and more. Ecovative envisions a day when U.S. forces will arrive at a location and be able to do just that.