Mushroom Production Waste Streams - Novel Approaches to Management and Value Creation

Dr Scott Needham, TGD Managing Director, acted as the project lead for the mushroom waste streams project and has over 25 years’ experience in performing and managing R&D and commercialising early stage scientific discoveries. During the past decade, Scott was Global Head of Investment Strategy for the US-based Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Development Fund (IDF), where he was responsible for a USD200m investment in early stage innovations.

Previously Head of Xinova Australia, a US-based innovation platform company that managed over 12,000 innovators, Scott believes in the power of utilising the best talent from around the world on projects. Scott has worked extensively for some of the worlds best known corporate clients including Fujitsu, Pepsico, AMEX, DuPont, Facebook and Mars Wrigley.

Kyle Kessler, TGD Manager, was the project manager for the mushroom waste streams project. His work blends quantitative and qualitative approaches to design technologies and businesses, and strategies that are desirable and financially viable to clients and their stakeholders.

Kyle has worked on innovation, stakeholder engagement, and agtech commercialisation projects across sectors and regions - including Hort Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia, CSIRO, United States Department of Defence and private sector clients in the fast moving consumer goods and mining sectors.


Teaming up with Hort Innovation and Australian mushroom growers, Scott and Kyle explored commercially viable approaches to utilising spent mushroom compost or edible mushroom waste either to reduce costs or increase revenue for mushroom growers in Australia.

Using trials, new business models, open-innovation and design thinking, they developed and tested new strategies for reducing waste, increasing revenue, and cutting costs for growers.

During this presentation, Scott and Kyle will summarise how, working hand-in-hand with mushroom growers, they unearthed new opportunities to increase the value of mushroom waste, including:

Eight potential solutions that were assessed against the business needs of mushrooms growers

Four recommended solutions for further investigation

How they collaborated to develop business models to better understand costs and revenue opportunities for potential solutions

Research into current and emerging technologies from around the world.
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