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EPA Grant to Help Capital District-Area Business Develop Green Technology; Ecovative Design of Green Island, New York Receives $300,000 for Development of Green Alternative to Foam Packaging

Release Date: 11/12/2014
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $295,579 to Ecovative Design, LLC, of Green Island, New York, to continue its development of a cost-effective green alternative packaging. Evocative Design was awarded the grant through the EPA’s highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program competition, which encourages small businesses to explore and develop environmental technologies from concept to commercialization.

      "Consumers want environmentally-responsible products that won't sit for thousands of years in landfills," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Ecovative's plant-based products offer a smart alternative that protects our planet and bolsters the economy here in the capital region."

      Ecovative makes eco-friendly packaging, building materials and automotive products using materials that have a low environmental impact and are 100% biodegradable and renewable. The company grows their materials from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells that are like the roots of mushrooms. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts, binding them into a structural material. The mycelium acts like a natural, self-assembling glue.

      The EPA was an early supporter of the research conducted at Ecovative, having awarded the company $375,000 from 2009 to 2013. This year, the EPA awarded a total of $2.7 million to nine small businesses across the country through the SBIR program.

      Since its creation, the EPA’s SBIR Program has given 969 awards to small businesses that provide jobs for developing cutting-edge, green technologies. Small businesses have created more than half of the net new jobs in the past decade. The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs are the largest source of early-stage capital for innovative small companies in the United States. Through these programs, the federal government invests more than $2 billion dollars in American entrepreneurial firms to develop and commercialize technologies that strengthen our nation's defense, improve the health of our citizens, and enhance education.

      More information on the SBIR Phase II awards: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/2014SBIRphase2awards

      For more information about the SBIR Program: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and Facebook at http://facebook.com/eparegion

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