W.A. de Vigier Award winner: Fenx


When choosing insulation materials, the building industry has to compromise on either price, flammability or ecological impact. FenX, a Zurich based startup, discovered a technique to turn industrial waste into handy. The company is currently developing high-performance insulation panels that are safe, non-flammable and have a minimal carbon footprint.



The most widely used insulation materials are extruded polystyrene, mineral/glass wool or porous cement, all of them being flammable, toxic or CO2 emitting. Environmental and societal impulses like the fire in the Grenfell Tower (2017) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015) made the call for non-flammable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly insulation materials grow louder.

Founded in 2019 by Etienne Jeoffroy, FenX developed patented foaming technique to produce highly porous foams made from inorganic secondary raw materials. The level of porosity is up to 97%, which is unprecedented. Products developed by FenX show remarkable insulation properties, high mechanical strength and nonflammability. Moreover, the materials originate from widely available resources, generate low CO2 emissions, are 100% recyclable.

The solution will allow clients to benefit from better insulation and be able to fulfil all the market requirements in terms of safety and green labels. The global building thermal insulation market was estimated at CHF 22.14 Billion in 2016, projected to an annual growth rate of 3.6 %. This provides Fenx with an immense opportunity to thrive with their high-performance insulation for the building industry.

The startup has already convinced several parties including potential customers, governments, investors and juries of several award competitions such as the recent W.A de Vigier Award. Jeoffroy was also recognised among the Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs of 2019.