News & Events
News & Events
News & Events

French start-up maps raw materials to accelerate hydroalcoholic gel production in fight against COVID-19

[Press release] 2 April 2020 – Paris, France

iNEX Circular, the first online platform dedicated to circular economy and recycling for businesses, has today launched iNEX Sourcing to track materials for hand sanitiser production, including bottles and ingredients, to support the fight against COVID-19 in France.

Mandated by the French Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DGE), the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI), Paris-based iNEX Circular has created the platform to help hospitals and businesses source personal protective equipment.

A platform to create connections and facilitate localisation and supply

iNEX Circular created this platform with one objective: to speed up production and ensure the supply of hydroalcoholic gel to hospitals. Concretely, users connect according to their profile:

  • Manufacturers in the various industrial sectors (chemistry, cosmetics, glass, etc.) indicate their stocks of available raw materials using a very simple form. They fill in the available quantities of Ethanol/Alcohol, Isopropanol, Hydrogen Peroxide/Oxygenated water, Vegetable glycerol/Glycerine or containers such as flasks, bottles, jerrycans, cans, etc.
  • As for manufacturers of hydroalcoholic gel, they can easily identify distributors and producers of these raw materials, as well as companies with unused stock due to production stoppages, and get in touch to obtain the products they need for their own production.

  • Hospitals have quick and easy access to all of the ARS-approved gel distributers throughout the country that can supply them.
  • A decision-support platform for institutions

    This is the other benefit of this platform: providing the DGE, the ARS and the CCIs with an overview of stocks and all of the companies listed in order to be able to organise logistics and quickly identify areas under strain.

    Olivier Gambari, CEO at iNEX Circular reports: “We are proud to play a role in supporting our communities during this pandemic. If our tool can go a small way to protecting lives across France, we have done our job. The vision behind iNEX was to make one man’s waste or materials, another’s resources, and that’s even more powerful in the situation we find ourselves in today.”

    Backed by EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s sustainable energy innovation engine, iNEX Sourcing uses machine learning and data mining from more than 800k companies and 1M pages of data to compile its database. Specialising in the identification and qualification of waste for recyclers and manufacturers, the Parisian start-up quickly adapted its tool and used its technology to provide this information in record time.

    Partnering with iNEX Circular is another EIT InnoEnergy start-up, Glowee, which will provide five full-time staff to help check the information that feeds into the database.

    Just 4 days after its launch, the platform has already identified in eastern France:

  • 149,315 litres of ethanol
  • 500 litres of isopropanol
  • 1992 litres of glycerine
  • Thousands of containers
  • And this is just the beginning!

    “We started the mapping work as a priority in eastern France, where the situation was most critical. Today our iNEX Sourcing platform is available nationwide. We have a team of 10 people who contact hundreds of companies every day to confirm our estimations,” adds Olivier Gambari, CEO of iNEX Circular.

    Following several successful projects with Veolia, Engie and GRDF, iNEX Circular has recently received a €200,000 investment from EIT InnoEnergy. The company plans to use the investment to expand across Europe into Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

    Richard Biagioni, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy France says: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and together with our ecosystem of more than 300 start-ups, we believe we can help make a difference. I am personally proud that my team, together with iNEX Circular, is helping to keep the communities we operate in safe.”


    About EIT InnoEnergy

    EIT InnoEnergy is the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe.

    We support and invest in innovation at every stage of the journey – from classroom to end-customer. With our network of partners, we build connections across Europe, bringing together inventors and industry, graduates and employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, businesses and markets.

    We work in three essential areas of the innovation mix:

  • Education – to help create an informed and ambitious workforce that understands the demands of sustainability and industry needs.
  • Innovation Projects – to bring together ideas, inventors and industry to create commercially attractive technologies that deliver real results to customers.
  • Business Creation Services – to support entrepreneurs and start-ups who are expanding Europe’s energy ecosystem with their innovative offerings.
  • Bringing these disciplines together maximises the impact of each, accelerates the development of market-ready solutions, and creates a fertile environment in which we can sell the innovative results of our work.

    InnoEnergy was established in 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).