Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007 - $15,815
Household energy use accounts for one-fifth of the total energy consumed annually in the US. Better insulation would lead to a reduction in energy consumption, but today's most popular forms of insulation have significant drawbacks in the form of health risks, high cost, and large environmental footprints.
This E-Team developed Greensulate, an environmentally friendly home insulation material. Greensulate is a composite board made up of insulating particles suspended in a matrix of mycelium-growth-stage mushroom cells. This mushroom-based insulation is biodegradable, low cost, produces no pollution in the manufacturing process, and insulates as well as competing products.
They've since focused on developing and selling Ecocradle, a green alternative to polystyrene/Styrofoam packaging.
Update: the team is now incorporated as Ecovative Design. The company won 500,000 euros at Picnic Green Challenge 2008, the world's premier green ideas conference, in Amsterdam, received SBIR Phase I funding from the EPA, and won the DoE's Renewable Energy Laboratory's Clean Energy Venture Awards. Click here to visit their website.
- Blogged on the New York Times (2009)
- Popular Science top-10 invention of the year (2009)
- Planet Green.com (2009)
- CNN's young people who rock
- NPR: cool inventions of the year (2009)
- Time magazine - Industrial strength mushrooms (2010)
- Fast Company - Steelcase adopts the Ecocradle packaging system (2010)
- TED - Eben describes the Ecocradle packaging system (2010)
- Huffington Post story and PBS video (2011)
- Ecovative partners with Ford to make car components (April 2011)
- Ecovative Design receives equity funding (May 2011)
- Ecovative partners with Sealed Air Corporation (January 2012)
- Featured in Dot Earth blog on the New York Times (February 2012)
- Story from GE ecoimagination (April 2012)
- Sealed Air and Ecovative accelerate commercialization of EcoCradle (June 2012)
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