The “Myco-Advanced leaTher matERials (MATER)” project has been funded by a joint grant from Fondazione Cariplo and Regione Lombardia. The University of Pavia is the lead institution with the departments of Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Civil Engineering and Architecture.
Prof. Daniele Dondi (Chemistry Dept.) is the Principal Investigator. Politecnico di Milano and MOGU S.r.l. are the partners of the project.
The MATER Project aims at improving the leather-like material that MOGU is developing. The current prototype is made of fungal mycelium, a 100% renewable, recyclable and compostable material, result of natural processes fully relying on growth and cultivation.
The team will simultaneously work on improving the efficiency of the growing process as well as the final product quality, collaborating with expert actors in the field. While refining the fungal leather-like products, the team will start designing and implementing a pilot facility. Pilot production will start in 2019, mainly serving top quality premium footwear manufacturers.
Current production costs will be affected in every single stage, decreasing incrementally. The team will scale to commercial volumes in 2020, allowing the expansion beyond footwear, to larger leather goods markets.