Myconaut receives prestigious National Science Foundation grant for mycology research

May 29th, 2024

National Science Foundation Logo

Marquette, Mich., May 29, 2024Myconaut, a biotechnology startup located in Marquette, Michigan and focused on disrupting the field of mycoremediation and sustainable mushroom production, today announced it secured a fully-funded $275,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award. 


The United States National Science Foundation Board approved Myconaut’s grant application for Phase I based on intellectual merit, the quality of initial research, and the broader impacts they see as possible with Myconaut’s technology successfully continuing development.

Myconaut Joe and Ryan

Photo of Founders Ryan Iacovacci and Joe Lane, Credit: SBDC

“This is a big moment for Myconaut, as this grant will allow us to continue to research how to address contaminants and pursue solutions that will positively impact future generations” said owner and partner Ryan Iacovacci. “We believe our research driven biological products hold the potential to contribute to planetary health and soil pollution remediation on a global scale, providing significant societal value. We are humbled about this additional validation and support, and eager to continue on the path we’ve been on since our founding in 2022.” 

Myconaut, the first-ever PFAS mycoremediation research project funded by the NSF SBIR grant, will create one research position and multiple contractor-based research positions over 12 months. This grant will contribute to the proof of concept for the PFAS pollution solution, establish the foundation for an AI pollutant remediation tool, and launch a seed fundraising round for the startup.


The National Science Foundation receives approximately 43,600 proposals annually for research, education and training projects, of which around 11,300 are funded. Upon completion of Phase I in May 2025, Myconaut will develop a commercialization pathway to develop and scale their product offering during Phase II. 


“As PFAS contamination continues to impact communities across Michigan and the country, it’s critical that we explore every possible option to combat these hazardous forever chemicals,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters. “I was proud to support Myconaut’s application for this federal funding to continue developing these innovative, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective cleanup methods.”


Myconaut is developing a scalable biological solution for PFAS remediation to address the multi-trillion dollar global remediation market. Their research utilizes mycoremediation, a process that leverages plants and fungi to remove these harmful chemicals. Myconaut benefits from a network of global allies and U.S.-based partners. These include The Remediators, a company with over 20 years of experience in mycoremediation, and Belgium-based C-biotech, which specializes in hemp and plant-based remediation.


About Myconaut
Founded in 2022, Myconaut conducts research in the field of mycology to realize the capabilities of fungi and other biobased systems as solutions for Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) remediation and other major environmental problems. Through research and development partnerships with universities such as the University of Minnesota and Northern Michigan University, as well as environmental engineering firms, private landowners, public institutions, and more, Myconaut is developing a mycoremediation solution that is scalable and broadly accessible. Myconaut was awarded funding from the Small Business Innovation Research grant by the National Science Foundation to support their research. Located in Marquette, Michigan and rooted in their community, Myconaut is a community provider of affordable nutritious mushrooms for Northern Michigan University and local businesses. Additionally, Myconaut encourages community involvement in mycology through educational opportunities such as community mushroom forays. For more information, visit: 


About the U.S. National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs 

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards more than $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development, helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $9.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. 


Media contact:
Adela Piper

Siren for Myconaut

586.212.4792 //