CompPair: Self-healing composite materials

Stemming from EPFL's Advanced Composites Implementation Laboratory, CompPair has developed a nature-inspired technology enabling composite materials to self-heal whilst preserving their initial properties. Now based at EPFL Innovation Park with offices at Ateliers de Renens, the startup intends to tackle material waste and promote circular economy. Its technology, in line with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, has earned several awards and convinced its first investors.

A composite material is an assembly of at least two components, whose properties complement each other. Inspired by nature, CompPair's HealTech™ products bring healing capability to composite materials. Using innovative chemistry, damage caused by manufacturing, impact or mishandling is easily repaired by applying heat (100-150°C), in just a couple minutes. As such, CompPair helps its customers to make better products that last longer and produce less waste. The regeneration process works throughout the life of the products, providing the composites industry with the opportunity for a circular economy.

Amaël Cohades, CEO of CompPair, looks back on the evolution of the company: "CompPair has been evolving very quickly, with major advances in terms of implementations in 2021. As of now, CompPair’ team counts 8 full time employees, and 15 collaborators working on the project. The team has the necessary skills to penetrate the composite industry."

CompPair's first product family, HealTech™, has sparked great interest in the sports and marine sectors in particular. "We recently had the pleasure of announcing our latest implementation: a collaboration with Gunboat, a prestigious catamaran brand. Owners of the new Gunboat 6805 will have CompPair self-healing materials on their yachts.”

But these products also have applications in other industries. "In 2022, we are continuing our activities in the leisure, wind and aerospace industries and are looking forward to sharing our results as soon as possible," explains Amaël Cohades.

Thanks to their extended lifetime, CompPair's products also significantly reduce maintenance costs.

Extensive support and recognition

Supported from the start by EPFL Enable and an EPFL Innogrant, CompPair then received support from the Gebert Rüf Foundation and from Venture Kick. In 2020, it was selected by Space4Impact as the startup of the year, and was awarded the Solar Impulse Foundation label. In the same year, CompPair also obtained a Tech Seed loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT), joined the European Space Agency’s ESA BIC CH programme and won the "Innovation Prize" of des Prix Entreprendre Lausanne Région (PERL).

Thanks to its prepreg textiles, the Vaud-based company was one of the finalists in the Hello Tomorrow Global challenge in the aeronautics sector, and won the JEC Startup booster 2020-2021 and the Swiss Technology Award at the Switzerland Innovation Forum.

In 2021, CompPair successfully completed a first round of financing of CHF 1’300’000 and entered the TOP 100 Swiss startups.