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MYCETUM. Advanced bioproduction generation

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Biotechnological solution for large-scale production of mycelium, a natural key component in pharmaceutical, biomedical and agricultural industries

The mycelium natural product is a key component in many industrial applications of high economic value (pharmacological active principles, biomedical and biomaterials, agriculture or mycology and forest restoration). Obtaining one of their products (chitosan), with applications in agriculture and biomedical industry, is growing annually by 13%, an annual output of 2.000 tons and a global market estimated at 1,000 M $.

A research team from the EUIT Agricola at the Technical University of Madrid has developed a patented and internationally protected solution for mycelium production scale in a controlled manner and with a simplified process industrially from the multiplication of fungi in vitro culture. Mycetum business opportunity is checked as multi-application solution for a remarkable number of target markets, including the pharmaceutical one, world leader in R & D investment and technology. Mycetum, as a spin-off company, commercializes the solution.

Technology Solution

This technological solution proposes an innovative method for obtaining global scale fungal mycelium in pure culture. The process develops inoculating the mycelium, for purification and then finally transfer for large-scale generation. This procedure can be implemented in industrial bioreactors for a rapid and controlled production.


The mycelium, a component of the fruit of the fungus, is a key component for the development of many applications of high economic value: extraction of active principles of pharmacological interest, obtaining chitosan (medicine, cosmetics, water treatment); obtaining principles food; biometariales generation and forest regeneration, among other applications.




“Patented technological process for obtaining a large-scale natural product from fungi (mycelium) for several high value industrial applications” 

Market demands

  • Complex and expensive procedures to produce mycelium before obtaining pharmacological active ingredients.
  • Soil erosion in mycological areas and lack of guarantee of origin of the fungus species.
  • Production recovery in mycological depleted areas: need for a more sustainable development of rural areas.
  • Improved plant production of edible mushrooms, especially those of great commercial value, such as truffles.
  • The global truffle demand (1,000 tons in 2010) is still far from the current production capacity, highly dependent on environmental factors. Even in 2020, this demand would not be covered even 25 %.
Market potential

  • Global pharmaceutical companies top rankings based on R&D investments (R&D expense at 17 % of income), driven by Roche, Pfizer and Novartis [Global Innovation 1000, Booz & Co].
  • Chitosan production market and derivatives (agricultural application or water purification component) has grown on average in recent years about 13 %, with annual output of 2,000 tons. USA and Japan are the largest producers and consumers.
  • USA companies producing chitin and chitosan generate a market equivalent to 335 M$ per year, with an estimated global value higher than 1,000 M $.
  • World truffle plantation area grows at an annual rate of 9 %, for an estimated production in 2020 of 270 tons [Micología Forestal Aplicada].
Competitive advantages

  • Simplicity in the production process capable of meeting several demands according to different business priorities.
  • Production capacity of large amounts of mycelia in a fast and controlled manner: reducing production costs and boosting scalability.
  • Multi-application solution with high added value:
    • pharmacological: generation of active ingredients;
    • biomedicine, agriculture (seeds, fertilizers, etc.), water treatment: obtaining the chitosan component and derivatives;
    • biomaterials (fillers, degradation of materials, packaging, etc.);
    • customized inoculated planting and 'designation of origin'.
    • 100 % in vitro production, as a non-polluting process, no environmental impact without associated degradation of the natural environment.

“Mycetum large-scale controlled production of mycelium improves key active ingredients generation for pharma industry”


  • Top worldwide research team in technological terms related to plant biotechnology and plant production.
  • Mycetum spin-off creation for the marketing and business development.

  • Patent granted in Spain ES2332031
  • Patent granted in Mexico MX/a/2011/012647
Development stage

  • Concept
  • R&D
  • Lab-Prototype
  • Industrial Prototype
  • Production

Mycetum (UPM spin-off)

Consuelo Jiménez Aguilar, Francisco González Torres, Mª Cruz Usano Martínez, César González García

e: consuelo.jimenez.aguilar@upm.es; mycetum.aplicaciones@gmail.com

UPM contact

Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Area

Centre of Support for Technological Innovation – UPM 

e: innovacion.tecnologica@upm.es


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