Fungi are the basis on which many fundamental living networks rely. Research and experimentation in the field of mycology can help our society to discover new approaches to heal ourselves and our home planet. Science Lead: Antoni Gandia
The Fungal Kingdom is known to host some of the oldest friends and foes of humanity. When properly used in many modern and traditional processes, fungi are fundamental in the production of bread, beer, cheese, sauces, pigments, antibiotics, industrial enzymes, vitamins, and many other essentials across human civilizations. Speaking about their significant importance, one should consider that more than 95% of the known plants rely on symbiotic relationships with fungi in order to thrive, which directly conditions agricultural yields worldwide. Not only industries, plants and planetary ecosystems depend on healthy fungal networks, fungi live as well in our own guts, skin and hair, contributing to our health and moods.
The most conservative estimations sum up a total of approx. 3.8 millions existing species of fungi on Earth, from which few more than 120.000 have been identified, which leaves scientists with a gigantic pool of new and unknown interactions, bio-tools and compounds waiting to be discovered.
The Mycological Innovations fund aims to provide basic financial support to enable citizen-scientists, mycologists and fungal innovators to explore fundamental questions and novel ideas related to fungi, including ecological roles, physiological studies, and potential applications in a wide range of fields such as ecosystem restoration, materials science, biochemistry, medicine, biopesticides, bioelectronics, and alternative food sources, to mention a few possibilities.
In order to support the effort, the Footprint Coalition is contributing $50,000 to back the projects here on Experiment that relate to research on sustainable Mycological Innovations. This fund will help back up each project up to 50% of the estimated cost (up to $5,000/project). As in previous editions, the funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The sooner you fill out a project application the better (use the "start a project" link below). In addition to the funding, we hope to stay engaged with the projects as mentors and supporters, helping in any way we can to make your mycological experiments a success.
Part of the Footprint Coalition Science Engine