BioMASON, a startup based in the Triangle that developed technology utilizing microorganisms to grow cement-based materials for use in construction projects, is the big winner in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge backed by Richard Branson.

CEO and co-founder Ginger Dosier received the check for the winnings from Branson, one of the world’s highest profile entrepreneurs, at the Green Challenge event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday. Branson, a big backer of sustainability and green energy, served as chairman of the judges’ board for the competition. 

BioMASON is based at the First Flight Center, a startup incubator, in RTP.

“We are happy to see bioMason receive recognition for their green energy solution to the trillions of CO2 injected into the atmosphere each year”, Andrew Schwab, president at First Flight Center, told WRALTechWire.

“This is a real-world issue, one that deserves this type of commitment”, he added. “We are so thrilled for Ginger and her team”.

First prize was worth 500,000 euros – or $670,000 based on exchange rates Monday morning.

About its technology, bioMASON says:

“bioMASON has developed a process that utilizes microorganisms to grow cement based materials for use in construction. Our products have comparable properties in strength, and can be used as a green alternative. Unlike traditional clay and concrete products which are fired in high heat; our process enables products to be made in ambient temperatures with minimal energy. Our products offer customers a clean, safe and cost effective process to manufacture biocement based materials.”

Some 311 startups and entrepreneurs from around the world entered the competition. 

Because this process can be completed in ambient temperatures, no fossil fuels are burned in the production process for the bioMASON brick.

In addition, the company claims that its bricks exhibit comparable strength and production times, yielding a safer, cleaner and more effective alternative. It’s an idea worth pursuing, said

Dosier said in an interview earlier this week, and it could revolutionize global construction projects.

“The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual worldwide competition for sustainable entrepreneurs who can instigate change,” the organizers note. ”All the finalists’ inventions aim to slash CO2 emissions and stand out for their good design, user-friendliness and overall quality.”