On 24 May, the start-up company Neweaver, founded by three TEMA graduates and a PhD student in chemistry, won the Grand Prix for Process Innovation at the SIÑAL EXHIBITION, a salon devoted to new uses for agro-resources, whose 10th edition was held in Châlons-en-Champagne.
Founded by Jonathan Bodin, Franck Coutelle and Robin Godard, who graduated from TEMA in 2014, and Kevin Blanchard, a PhD student in polymer chemistry at the University of Lyon, Neweaver is a start-up company based in Reims, specialising in biotechnology.
What is Neweaver?
We produce, extract and develop active molecules for high value-added industrial applications. Our model is unusual because our process is innovative: which led to us winning this prize!
Our processes are based on the principles of green chemistry and the circular economy: we recover agricultural by-products and use them to produce the molecules. The Champagne-Ardenne region is rich in raw materials, facilitating the development of short distribution circuits. Our process provides a sustainable alternative to the use of oil-based products.
How did the TEMA programme help make your enterprise successful?
An innovative and entrepreneurial mind-set and the methods to achieve our aims!
As we were used to working in teams during our studies at TEMA, we were able to adapt, to work with engineers in the laboratory where we conduct our tests, and even to welcome a scientist as our associate – which is essential in this type of project! – with the arrival of Kevin in the team and our partnership with AgroParisTech.
Thanks to our courses in project management and entrepreneurship, during which we experienced real-life situations, we had experienced every dimension of innovative project management: we were ready to go!
And the network, of course! Both the alumni who inspired in us the desire to become entrepreneurs with their example, and the NEOMA BS Chair in Industrial Bioeconomy in which Robin works as a research engineer, helped us to find partnerships.
What does the future hold for Neweaver?
We already have partnerships with the AgroParisTech ABI chair, the NEOMA BS Chair in Industrial Bioeconomy, Innovact center, ID Champagne Ardenne, the Reims-Epernay Chamber of Commerce and the IAR competitive cluster. We are in phase with the region’s policy of promoting the bioeconomy, so the future looks good for our company’s development.
We also hope to give something back to the TEMA programme. We are in contact with the management and teaching team to work together, perhaps in the area of innovative project management.
We wish our young ‘green’ entrepreneurs every possible success!