Ecovative in the New Yorker

new yorker cover ecovative issueThe new issue of the New Yorker include a good article about Ecovative by Ian Frazier. Here's a clip:

Gavin McIntyre, the co-inventor of a process that grows all-natural substitutes for plastic from the tissue of mushrooms, holds a pen or pencil in an unusual way. Gripping it between two fingers of his right hand, he moves his arm across the paper so that his wrist grazes the inscribed line; because of this, he uses pens with ink that doesn't smear. When he draws an explanatory diagram of the chitin molecule--chitin is the principal component of mycelium, the white, rootlike vegetative structure of fungi--he bends over his work, then looks up earnestly to see if his hearer has understood. The gesture makes him appear younger than his age, which is twenty-eight. He wears glasses and has straight black hair, dark eyes, and several piercings, with studs in his lip and ears.
The other co-inventor, Eben Bayer, won't be twenty-eight until June. Bayer is almost six-five, and often assumes the benign expression of a large and friendly older brother. His hair is brown, short, and spiky, his face is long, and his self-effacing manner hides the grand ambitions that people who come from small towns (Bayer grew up in South Royalton, in central Vermont) sometimes have. When he says, of the company that he and McIntyre founded, "We want to be the Dow or DuPont of this century," he is serious. He is their company's C.E.O., McIntyre its Chief Scientist. People with money and influence have bet that they will succeed.

As you know, Ecovative is based in Green Island -- and both McIntyre and Bayer are RPI alumni.

The article highlight both of the founders' backgrounds, along with the key role of RPI professor Burt Swersey in encouraging them, and mycologist Sue Van Hook in helping to grow Ecovative's library of fungus. And it also includes a bunch of interesting bits about the company's beginnings, tech, and plans (fungal resistors for mobile phones?).

More than anything, though, Frazier elegantly lays out Ecovative's ideas alongside the history of Dow Chemical -- the producer of Styrofoam -- and explains why Ecovative could be such an important, industry-altering company.

Earlier on AOA: A whole bunch of items about Ecovative

Comments

Being 68 I have seen many changes in my lifetime, mostly wasteful spawned by greed. These researchers and inventors give me hope for a future I will never see. Keep on truckin'!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Colonial ice cream day at Crailo

This could be interesting (and delicious): The Crailo State Historic Site is hosting a "Colonial Ice Cream Discovery Day" August 12. Blurbage: [D]iscover how colonists... (more)

Where to get a hybrid or electric car serviced?

Mark emails: I've been on the hunt for a mechanic that specializes/is-well-versed in electric/hybrid cars, but have failed to bag anything. I have taken my... (more)

Morning Blend

Scrutiny of Albany County jail death Brendan Lyons looks into the 2014 death of a man in the Albany County jail in an episode in... (more)

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (cool start), to The... (more)

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + We took a few minutes to take in the murals in Rensselaer's Riverfront... (more)

Recent Comments

... Great experience. Fast pickup times. I was chatting with one of my drivers about potential Saratoga -> Albany types of drives or similar. He is actually based in Delmar, and said that as a driver, Lyft has a feature that you can pick a fare based on the direction you want to end up in which I thought was interesting. He was driving around all night and lives out in Delmar but ended up more towards Saratoga when he was about to call it quits. His last fare was a drive from Saratoga back towards Albany and got him pretty close to home as well. That makes me feel better about catching a ride to a place further in NY if I happen to need one.

Where to get a hybrid or electric car serviced?

...has 1 comment, most recently from John

The week ahead

...has 1 comment, most recently from Amy Koren-Roth

One critique of the proposed 1 Monument Square design, raised up one level

...has 9 comments, most recently from J

Drawing: Murder Mystery Night at Takk House

...has 39 comments, most recently from Carolyn

Word(s) on the street

...has 13 comments, most recently from Stan