NatExplore: a young innovative company that develops original methods dedicated to the rapid and detailed characterization of the composition of natural resources



NatExplore is a Young Innovative Company that develops original methods dedicated to the rapid and detailed characterization of the composition of natural resources (medicinal or field plants, algae, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms, cell cultures …). In 2022, the team consists of five scientists. Our activity is connected to the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, nutraceutical, agricultural and other sectors that value raw materials, ingredients and active ingredients of natural origin.



Jane HUBER President, researcher at NatExplore

When and how did the NatExplore story start?

NatExplore is the result of research work initiated at the Institut de Chimie Moléculaire de Reims. In 2013, an innovative method of analysis of natural extracts (CARAMEL method) was developed to feed collaborative academic projects dedicated to the valorisation of natural substances. The dissemination of the results obtained with this method quickly aroused the interest of industrial players (pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in particular), leading to an increasing number of studies carried out for the outside world and the creation of NatExplore in 2018, entirely dedicated to this activity.

What have been the major milestones and projects that have marked the growth of NatExplore?

At the creation of NatExplore in 2018, the transition from the University world to the Company was crucial, we had to adapt to new constraints, become familiar with new administrative and legal aspects, while maintaining a solid and rigorous R&D activity. From the very first year, new partners came to us and new projects emerged, sometimes involving quite original natural matrices to characterize, with new problems to solve, which made these first start-up years rich and exciting.

How has the Grand Est region supported you?

The proof of concept of the CARAMEL method had been financed by the Region as part of an Upstream Incentive Project (PIA) in 2013, before the start-up was created. The method is at the heart of our activity and remains our main analytical strategy to determine the molecular composition of natural extracts. And at the time of its creation, NatExplore benefited for 3 years from an office and the environment of the Village By CA of which the Grand Est Region is a partner.

What are your development plans for the future?

To become a reference entity in the field of natural resources analysis and development, our objectives are multiple:

  • Continue to develop our analytical tools and strategies to maintain the innovative nature of our business. Our R&D must remain sustained and of high quality; we will also strengthen it by recruiting new employees;
  • To progressively reach all the industrial players involved in the valorisation of natural resources on a national scale, then to extend to Europe. Continue our collaborations with the academic community.

Our laboratory work is currently carried out in the premises of the Institute of Molecular Chemistry of Reims (URCA), in the long term we will have to acquire our own premises and invest in the purchase of equipment for fractionation and analysis of natural materials.

success stories, photo de Laure THEVENIN-METZGER