GM Ventures, the investment arm of General Motors Co. in Detroit, has made an unspecified investment in California biotechnology company MycoWorks to co-develop the latter’s Fine Mycelium materials for potential use in a range of applications within automotive design.
MycoWorks’ Fine Mycelium technology engineers mycelium, the renewable root structure of mushrooms, to craft a range of natural, customizable leather alternatives that match the performance of the highest-quality animal leather with lower environmental impact.
The company’s platform has enabled a new class of premium, non-animal materials that could have the opportunity to support GM’s continued progress toward its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.
Animal-free and chrome-free, Fine Mycelium also has superior strength at low thicknesses, offering a pathway to efficiency and weight reduction in car interiors while still meeting the performance, aesthetic, and environmental requirements of the automotive space, according to the manufacturer.
“Working with General Motors to introduce Fine Mycelium to the automotive industry is an enormous step forward in the global new materials revolution,” says Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks. “MycoWorks’s collaboration with GM is a first for us outside of the fashion industry, demonstrating the enormous potential and applications for Fine Mycelium.”
Wade Sheffer, managing director of GM Ventures, says: “Our strategic investment in MycoWorks aims to advance the development of sustainable automotive materials. This collaboration will help facilitate R&D efforts and build more sustainable alternatives for our designers.”