With each of our innovator stories, we get a chance to meet the people behind EU-funded ideas, which have the potential to change our future for the better. 


In our most recent release, we feature an enlightening discussion with Alban Chesneau, the Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Waters. This company specialises in producing high-performance additives derived from graphene, designed for eco-friendly protective coatings, reinforced nanocomposites, and thermal adhesives. 

Carbon Waters emerged victorious in the Sustainability Category of the 2023 Innovation Radar Prize. 

They received €400,000 in funding via Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. 


Tell us more about yourself and your work? 

I am Alban Chesneau, originally a scientist with a background in genetics and experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Transitioning to consulting, I had a long-standing desire to create a company centered around technical innovation. This aspiration led me to found Carbon Waters six years ago. 

At Carbon Waters, we are developing a new generation of materials, focusing on environmental applications and energy transition, mainly in the transportation and energy sectors. 



What problem is your product solving and what makes its solution unique? 

For the last two decades, the industry is using nanomaterials and advanced materials. There are many processes to produce these materials, but none of them are fully controlled. They also generate a lot of waste, can be dangerous and use a lot of energy.  

At Carbon Waters, we are developing a new process, a much more controlled nanometer scale precision, generating much less waste and using much less energy. Our process makes nanomaterials more compatible with industrial uses. 


How did you start your journey, and where are you now on the road to achieving your ambition?  

The company was founded six years ago, with three employees. Now, we are 16 employees and we moved from understanding the process to mastering it. Currently, our focus is on progressing towards industrialisation. 
We also developed three types of products. The first product is now being tested by industry customers. The second is in the qualification phase and the first test with customers just began. The third one is still under development. 


What’s the biggest impact EU-funding has had on your journey so far, and can you specify an outcome?

Carbon Waters is part of two EU collaborative projects: NewSkin and Macramé. Through these projects, we were granted around €400K, mostly for product development. 

This funding was highly significant as it enabled us to establish connections with various academic and industrial partners—an essential factor in qualifying and advancing our product. 

Additionally, having this financial support was crucial in accelerating the development of both types of products. 


Have you already tested your product with clients? What was it like?

We have already tested two types of products with in-store customers and institutions. 

We got positive feedback showing that our product could be used in specific cases, but it also helped us to optimise these products for other uses. 

What is Carbon Waters’ greatest achievement to date? 

Our greatest achievement was demonstrating in a specific context that we were able to replace known toxic additives with our materials. This reveals that products used in the industry for the past 30 years need to be replaced and can be replaced by alternative solutions using new technologies. 


How do you see Carbon Waters making a difference in the future?

Since this material showed to be very interesting in terms of increasing the lightweight of structures, increasing the energy storage and also replacing toxic additives, we think that Carbon Waters will have a great impact in terms of environment and energy, within less than five years from now. 


Why was participating in Dealflow.eu’s Innovation Radar Summit 2023 important to you?

We are a French company who was quite known at the French level, and it is important for an EU based company to be known at the EU level. The Innovation Radar is a very nice opportunity to showcase Carbon Waters to VCs and companies that are situated in other countries. It helped us become more international. 


What did it mean to you to be a winner of the Innovation Radar Prize?

It is a recognition by the sector that Carbon Waters’s technology and strategy are solid and that they believe in us. This is very important as it helps us in ongoing self-development at the EU level. 


How would you define success and what keeps you going in the pursuit of it?

Success in 2023, nearing 2024, is more about having an impact, a positive influence on the economy, industry or everyday life. 

This is a goal we strive to accomplish at Carbon Waters. If our solutions can be converted into something tangible and very impactful, it would be a success for everyone within the company. 

Article published by EurA AG.

About Innovator Spotlight Stories

The aim of innovator stories is to highlight and share with investors and relevant stakeholders in the industry, insights, and unique stories from some of the most innovative EU-funded project that Dealflow.eu is proud to support.

If you are an investor who wants to connect with Carbon Waters, please feel free to reach out at [email protected]

More about Dealflow.eu 

Supported by the European Commission, Dealflow.eu discovers and supports the most promising EU-funded innovators and connects them with relevant investors and corporates. The initiative was launched to help groundbreaking innovations secure the funding needed for their future commercialisation by offering them tailored support and matchmaking services. 

To learn more about Dealflow.eu, visit https://dealflow.eu/ 


Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them