Nexeon Ltd., a global pioneer in advanced silicon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, is shaping a sustainable and electrified future! With groundbreaking, flagship products NSP1 and NSP2, Nexeon is unleashing the full potential of Silicon across all lithium-ion battery types.
Since their founding in 2006, Nexeon has swiftly become an industry innovator. In 2016 the company marked a milestone with the opening of an Application Engineering and Customer Support centre in Yokohama, Japan, bolstering its proximity to development partners. The company is now poised for further growth with a new facility in Gunsan, South Korea, fortifying its presence in APAC and fostering collaboration with tech-savvy companies.
Boyd & Moore has been a key partner for Nexeon for over 5 years, helping recruit top talent in Japan and South Korea. Recently, Mio Watanabe, VP of our Industrial team in Japan, and DongWhan Kim, Practice Leader at our Seoul office, sat down with Nexeon’s CEO, Scott Brown. They discussed Nexeon’s remarkable journey, its inclusive work culture, and exciting plans for expansion in the dynamic APAC region.
Please tell our network a little bit about yourself. What’s your role? How long have you been with Nexeon?
I am CEO at Nexeon, and I have had that pleasure for more than 10 years now. I remain super excited about the technology we have developed and the impact that this will have on society and quality of life.
We have grown over the years I have been at the helm and have a very diverse workforce, including over 25 different nationalities. Having lived in the US and in Asia, I have a deep appreciation of cultural difference and the value that such differences can bring to an organisation.
A few non-work-related facts about me? I am very interested in, and have a growing collection of, Japanese ceramics. I am fascinated by the chemistry that can take place inside a wood-fired anagama kiln! I also like to get out on my bike whenever the UK weather allows.
What does Nexeon do? What is the mission of your organisation?
Nexeon is the leading international developer and manufacturer of advanced silicon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. These are fundamental to achieving a sustainable future.
Our battery materials enable a significantly higher cell energy density, allowing for the design of smaller and more cost-effective batteries. This leads to enhanced performance for several applications, including electric vehicles, where range and charging times can be dramatically improved, addressing key consumer barriers to entry.
How did Nexeon’s story begin? And what are some key milestones over the years in the company’s continued evolution?
Nexeon span out of Imperial College, London in 2006. The company relocated to Oxfordshire in 2008 and has been at Milton Park—close to Oxford—since 2010. The company has always had a focus on silicon anode materials and their production and has successfully completed several funding rounds to grow the business.
The most recent funding round—which was oversubscribed and raised $200m—has allowed the company to double in size and start construction of its first commercial volume production site at Gunsan, South Korea.
Nexeon has been focussed on harnessing the power of silicon; because of several years of deep tech innovation and materials development, we have been able to create a product that enables a step change in energy density and fast charging for lithium-ion batteries.
Over the last couple of years, we have doubled the size of the organisation by building on our leadership, engineering, operational and commercial teams. This has resulted in securing our maiden supply agreement with a Top 5 global cell manufacturer, Panasonic, and locating the site for our first commercial volume production site in South Korea.
What are the next steps for Nexeon? What is the company’s vision and strategic direction for the next 3-5 years?
We are focussed on scaling up our first commercial site in Gunsan, South Korea and supplying commercial volume material to Panasonic’s Kansas gigafactory starting in 2025.
As we expand our commercial output, we will of course be looking to announce further customers and production sites in due course. Watch this space!
How have Nexeon and BMES worked together over the years? How has this partnership contributed to the organisation’s growth?
Up until recently, the majority of the world’s lithium battery market and cell production was located in Asia. Nexeon made a decision over 5 years ago to open an Application Engineering and Customer Support centre in Yokohama, Japan. BMES was instrumental in helping us identify and attract senior technical and commercial leaders into our Japan-based team.
Our activities have now extended beyond the UK and Japan, with the recent opening of our office in Korea. BMES helped us hire our Asia Area New Business Development Director, who works out of our office in Seoul.
Which specific geographical markets or customer segments is Nexeon targeting for expansion? What factors contribute to the attractiveness of these growth areas?
Our product and technology are agnostic of geographical location or application type. If it has a lithium-ion battery, our product has the potential to improve it!
Naturally a significant portion of the demand for global cell supply is driven by the automotive industry, and we are working with several significant potential customers in the cell manufacturing and automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) industries globally.
We are also working with several Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) as well, and we will be confirming future supply agreements in due course.
What values and principles define the company’s culture? How do these values influence decision-making and interactions within the organization?
We are of course driven by some key core values that allow us to operate as an efficient team, but what we have been focussed on mainly in the most recent phase of our growth is “execution and implementing”.
We have attracted talent from around the world with a breadth and depth of experience that is transforming the company.
It has been an absolute delight to see the culture at the company move rapidly to one consistent with delighting the customer while not losing what made us special to begin with in terms of agility, teamwork and creativity.
In what areas is your company looking to focus hiring and expansion efforts on over the next few years?
We will always look to strengthen our technical teams, but in this phase of growth we are keen to build up our manufacturing capabilities—Gunsan is just the start!
We have bold plans for the next commercial scale manufacturing facility and will be looking to grow our teams in North America, as well as in Asia.
What kind of traits do you observe in professionals who thrive in your organisation?
Our company thrives upon its diverse workforce. We have more than our fair share of outstanding people who are characterised by their attention to detail, natural curiosity and can-do attitude.
We delight in setting ourselves high standards, knowing that we have the people to exceed expectations.
In your view, what sets Nexeon apart as a world class employer?
As mentioned earlier, we have a very diverse workforce. We hire the best, wherever we can find them. We are growing rapidly and globally. This is only possible through the amazing relationship we have built with customers—both cell makers and OEMs—around the globe. Those relationships thrive on our ability to consistently meet and exceed expectations.
We retain our small company approach to problem-solving—creative, fast, determined—while reinforcing those characteristics, such as quality, reliability, and consistency, required to supply some of the biggest, multinational customers in the battery industry.
The technology we have developed is game-changing in terms of lithium-ion battery energy density, fast charge, and cost. By focussing on sustainability and scalability, we truly believe that Nexeon technology offers customers the very best performance at the most attractive cost.