In Mexico, Polybion is replacing unicel with fungicel, a biomaterial made from fungi that can be used in packaging material. Brothers Alexis and Axel Gomez-Ortigoza came up with the concept during an MIT synthetic biology competition and created the material in a lab in Mexico with plans to set up a larger plant in their birthplace town. They hope to create the first biotechnology hub in Mexico as part of the project.
“Mexico is the fourth strongest producer of household appliances; we want to attack that market and replace its unicel packaging with biomaterial. But the possibilities of use are very broad: we can develop furniture, make substitute leather, panels for construction or packaging for wines and liquors,” Alexis Gomez-Ortigoza told Milenio. Polybion recently won the INC Accelerator competition.