Exploring the potential of fungi & mycotechnologies

August 11, 2021

NPC is proud to support Mycelium Congress 2021 this September. The global event will feature researchers and experts from around the world who are helping to leverage the incredible potential of fungi and mycotechnologies. We’re presenting a Start-Up Showcase as part of the Congress (see info at the end of this article) to introduce some of the interesting Canadian companies innovating in this area. To get an insider’s look at the potential of this event, we asked Richard Jeannotte of Biopterre, the hosts of the event, about this fascinating area of research, and the reason so many industries are interested in it right now.

Richard Jeannotte, PhD, Co-Director — Innovation and Technology Transfer — Mycotechnologies, Biopterre

Can you explain what mycotechnologies are?

Mycotechnologies are a broad range of biotechnologies that use fungus as the working principle. The diversity of mushroom species is very great as is the possible applications of this diversity. For example, the action of a fungus on organic residual materials makes it possible to produce mycomaterials, to decontaminate problematic residual materials (mycoremediation) or to transform materials in value-added molecules such as enzymes.

Why is mycelium seen to have so much potential?

The mycelium is an important part of filamentous fungi. The mycelium allows fungi to explore and transform their environment through a variety of mechanisms involving, among other things, enzymes, biosurfactants, etc. This ability of filamentous fungi to explore their environment by means of the mycelium offers the possibility of directly transforming solid matter. This is fermentation on a solid substrate or fermentation in a solid medium. At Biopterre, this is an expertise that we are developing in addition to establishing infrastructures at the laboratory and pilot scale that will allow us to carry out projects using this type of fermentation.

What are some of the most promising areas of research that can have real-world application?

Several areas of mushroom research show promise. A few examples include: mycoremediation or decontamination of problematic materials; medicinal properties of mushrooms such as hallucinogenic mushrooms; the use of fungi to produce alternative proteins and new ingredients for the food industry; the production of value-added molecules for industrial and environmental applications; and the whole field of bio-based materials.

How do you explain the recent increase in the number of companies working in mycotechnology? Has there been a breakthrough of technology or something else?

One of the reasons is the increased demand for alternative proteins and substitutes for animal meat. Fungi have the ability to transform solid matter and change not only its biochemical composition but also its physical properties, which can be of interest in producing new food products.

What can people expect from the Mycelium Congress 2021?

This event is one of the rare opportunities for the global community of both researchers and industry to see the latest science and commercial applications in the realm of fungi and mycelium. Its virtual, multi-day format is spread across the month of September so attendees can fit it into their busy schedules. As well, each session will be available in both French and English so as many people as possible can find value from the many talks and presentations.


As part of our support for the event, NPC is very pleased to host a special Start-Up Showcase of some of Canada’s most exciting up and coming companies that are leveraging the power of mycotechnologies. Please visit the website to register or contact us for more information.


Forage Hyperfoods We believe holistic and preventative fungi medicine is for everybody. Forage Hyperfoods Inc. is a leading supplier of wild harvested Canadian mushrooms. With a network of harvesters across Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, Forage is bringing sustainably harvested mushrooms from forest to consumer with ready to consume food and beverage products.

Ceres Solutions Ltd Ceres Solutions grows gourmet mushrooms from local craft brewery and agricultural by-products. Our modular cultivation system is industry leading in product quality, plastic use, emissions reduction, and yield per square foot. During the growing process, the mushroom substrate is naturally enriched with protein by the mushroom mycelium. This protein enhancement makes Ceres’ spent substrate a valuable cattle feed called Mycopro™. Ceres’ unique growing process adds value to all farm inputs and outputs and simultaneously eliminates waste. 

Chinova Bioworks In the business of better ingredients – Chinova Bioworks was started in 2016 by scientists who had a passion to see new healthy ingredients being used in the food and beverage industry. The team had developed a technological innovation around the use of little known fibers from white button mushrooms – mainly chitosan – and their use as a shelf-life extending ingredient. Since then Chinova Bioworks has grown to a company with over 20 employees and sales throughout North America. The company is passionate about helping clients remove synthetic ingredients and realize their goals of a healthy and natural clean label product.

Filament Health is an exclusively-natural psychedelic drug discovery and extraction technology company. Its mission is to see safe, approved, natural psychedelics in the hands of everyone who needs them as soon as possible. Filament believes measurable and efficacious medicines will be a catalyst to addressing many of the world’s mental health problems and that natural psychedelics provide an optimal option for widespread adoption of these substances. Filament engages in natural extraction technology commercialization, utilizing its intellectual property portfolio, in-house GMP facility, and Health Canada psilocybin Dealer’s License. Filament is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and trades on Canada’s NEO Exchange (NEO:FH).