Company Spotlight: Nexeon
Published on 17 February 2022
We recently caught up with battery materials firm, Nexeon, learning more about the team’s work to develop energy efficient, sustainable battery technology.
Founded in 2006, Nexeon’s story began as a university spin-out from Imperial College London. The team then made the move to Milton Park four years later to expand their activities. Shortly after their arrival at the Park, they produced some of the world’s highest capacity silicon anode battery materials and have been going from strength to strength ever since.
Today, Nexeon is a thriving international company with a second site in Japan and an international customer base. The firm is a well-recognised player in the global battery technology industry, attracting employees from all over, making for a highly diverse workforce. This rings true at Milton Park, where the 45-strong team comprises over 20 nationalities.
What does Nexeon do?
Nexeon develops silicon anode battery technologies which improve the performance of rechargeable lithium batteries, making them more energy efficient and cheaper to use.
Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in lots of different electronic portable devices like computers and phones, as well as electric vehicles, energy storage, and home appliances. Nexeon’s mission is to provide silicon anode battery technologies to produce rechargeable batteries with greater capacities, faster charging and longer lifespans.
Nexeon’s approach is helping to accelerate the race to a net zero future. Their products have a direct impact on energy security and application performance; if batteries can store more energy in the same amount of space, any product that has a battery now has the opportunity to be lighter, more efficient, or even completely re-imagined. This benefit is passed on not only to the end consumer in the form of better products, but also upstream by providing the opportunity to ship less raw material, and thus use less of earth’s minerals – there is a knock-on effect to the whole value chain, making the company’s work a high-priority area of technology development.
One way in which Nexeon’s work has a climate-positive impact is through electric vehicle (EV) charging. The team’s technology increases the lifespan of vehicle batteries and the distances between charges, reducing the need to think about locating EV charging points and accounting for charging times during journeys.
Scott Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Nexeon, explains in more detail, “Our batteries contain a highly engineered silicon composite with a high power to weight ratio that increases the battery energy density by 50% and reduces the cost by 20%. This has only been achieved by a select few companies worldwide that have the sufficient material design to achieve these results and we are one of them.
“This technology will play an important role in making sustainable energy more accessible on a global scale. We’re also taking significant steps towards solutions in local energy storage, feats that our planet will greatly benefit from.”
A significant step forward
Last month, the team announced a new investment and manufacturing partnership with South Korean chemical company, SKC. The partnership will enable both the acceleration of Nexeon’s manufacturing strategy and the company’s plans for growth, increasing production capabilities at Milton Park by ten times, as well as doubling the number of their employees to 90.
Scott added: “We’re thrilled at our partnership with SKC. After a rigorous screening process, we feel very confident in our decision and are excited about Nexeon’s scaling up plans, especially with how important our work is in the current climate. It will also be great to have more talented people join our team at Milton Park to support us towards our future plans for growth and expansion.”
Why Milton Park?
Location was an important factor in Nexeon’s move to Milton Park, with convenient employee commutes for those already within Didcot and the surrounding areas. Close proximity to Heathrow Airport for international customers and access to talent, from institutions such as the University of Oxford, were also key influences in their decision-making.
Scott said: “Milton Park has been able to provide us with buildings that have the perfect ratio of office to lab space for our work and necessary equipment. It’s great to see how much our employees enjoy working here with amenities such as the gym, green space, food outlets and pharmacy all on our doorstep.”