Ecovative Design LLC
1. What is Ecovative Design LLC?
Ecovative Design LLC (“Ecovative”) is a green materials company located in Troy, NY. Our vision is to create radically inexpensive and sustainable replacements for conventional plastics and foams, using readily available lignocellulosic feedstocks. To achieve this goal, Ecovative is commercializing a revolutionary manufacturing process that uses a growing organism to convert waste materials into a rigid biological resin. This grown resin, when combined with natural aggregates, such as agricultural waste, creates an organic replacement for Styrofoam™ in many applications.
2a. How was Ecovative created?
Founded in 2007 by Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, Ecovative was initially supported by private capital and a grant from the NCIIA (National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance) that was administered through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The idea for the Ecovative business grew out of a class at Rensselaer, Inventor’s Studio, taught by Burt L. Swersey.
2b. At what stage of the technology’s development did Ecovative first start collaborating with a university?
While students, Ecovative co-founders collaborated with researchers at Rensselaer and the National Institute for Standards and Technology to test and quantify the material properties of their biological composites.
2c. Does Ecovative have an ongoing relationship with a university or its researchers?
Yes, Ecovative is currently partnering with the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (“CATS”) at Rensselaer to develop potential manufacturing system designs.
3. Would you briefly describe Ecovative’s business plan?
We are creating cost-effective replacements for conventional synthetics that benefit the people who use them and the environment as well. Our business model is to license this technology into specific market segments, which will initially be packaging and rigid board insulation.
4. What is the current status of Ecovative Design LLC?
Ecovative is currently commercializing its revolutionary method for growing materials. Composite samples are being tested to ASTM standards, product prototypes are in production for potential customers, and a prototype manufacturing system is in development as well.
5. Who is on the Ecovative team?
The Ecovative full-time team includes the following members:
• Eben Bayer, Chief Executive Officer
• Gavin McIntyre, Chief Scientist
• Ed Browka, Chief Operating Officer
• Sam Harrington, Intern
• Sue Van Hook, Mycological Consultant
• Burt L. Swersey, Chief Advisor
Our team also includes many RPI students who work a few hours each week on various projects.
6. How was Ecovative Design named?
Ecovative’s name reflects our commitment to preserving and improving our planet’s environment, our passion for innovation, and our belief that great products require great design.