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General Motors Invests in MycoWorks: Inside Mycelium’s Automotive Advantages

Another week, another major investor announcement in the materials science space: MycoWorks has gained investment from GM Ventures: the VC arm of American car manufacturer General Motors. 

The investment from GM Ventures secured joint R&D in an industrial partnership seeking to develop a Fine Mycelium™ that best suits the replacement of animal leather interiors in GM cars. During a phone interview, MycoWorks CEO Matt Scullin said that cars’ seats, dashboards and steering wheels demand particular properties that their Fine Mycelium™ (FM) is uniquely placed to provide.

This GM partnership is MycoWorks’ first outside of the fashion industry (following their collaboration with Hermés) and offers unique potential, says the CEO. The automotive industry is the second biggest market for leather (after footwear), and Fine Mycelium can help the industry hit environmental targets, he believes. 

“Customisability is a real advantage of Fine Mycelium – the automotive industry can take advantage of that in a way that it needs,” says Scullin. “This extends to adjusting the hydrophobicity and creating hybrid materials”.

For example, MycoWorks recently grew their FM substrate throughout a range of mesh fabrics, including kevlar and cotton. But FM’s potential extends beyond the composition into the actual shape of the pieces of material. Theoretically, the company can customize tray shapes and sizes to grow Mycelium in the exact dimensions required to construct a seat or dashboard covering, for example, compounding this impact reduction by reducing or eliminating offcuts.

Read the full article by Brooke Roberts-Islam on TechStyler.