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Alumnus Chiara Dognini wins Alamo Prize for mycelium project derived from her final project

The MycoOperation product.

Chiara Dognini, a graduate of the LSA’s fourth cohort, has won first prize at the 2021 Alamo Awards with her team, MycoOperation, for a project that uses organic waste to replace plastic food packaging.

The Alamo Award, now in its fourth year, comes from the Alamo Foundation based in Italy which encourages new, sustainable business ventures by providing financial support to young entrepreneurs.

MycoOperation claimed the 10,000 euro first prize for its proposal which uses mycelium to transform organic substrate derived from waste materials into a food packaging to limit commercial polystyrene plastic usage.

Mycelium is a natural polymeric compound that is completely compostable and requires minimal energy to produce. The concept behind the proposal derives from Chiara’s final year project at the LSA, which proposed a new industrial process capable of transforming waste material, such as plastic, into a substrate for the cultivation of mycelium.

“It is a circular economy system with which to reuse waste, thanks to the use of living organisms, to transform the cities of the future into sustainable realities,” said Chiara.

After graduating, Chiara continued experimenting with mycelium and later met Giovanni Mainetti, a geologist at A2A (a company that deals with renewable energy, electricity, gas, integrated water supply, and waste management services). Together they laid the foundations for MycoOperation.

The MycoOperation collective has seven other members including: Caterina Mola, Filippo Muraro, Andrea Patrizi, Marco Bonari, and Alessandro Colosio.

Find out more about MycoOperation here.


The MycoOperation product.
The MycoOperation product.
The MycoOperation product.