Less Common Metals (LCM) is thrilled to share that the company and Materials Nexus (MatNex) have been awarded funding by Innovate UK’s circular critical materials supply chains (CLIMATES) programme which aims to create a more resilient supply chain for critical minerals.
LCM and Materials Nexus (MatNex) will collaborate on a project to greatly reduce the use of heavy rare-earth elements in high-performance permanent magnets, without affecting performance.
This is one of 16 UK-based innovation projects that have won the first round of the Critical Materials for Magnets Competition, with a £6.6m investment in research innovation projects that aim to help build a stronger critical mineral supply chain.
The focus of the research project between LCM and Materials Nexus is for the new magnet materials to be cheaper, more sustainable, and, by reducing reliance on supply from China, have a much more robust supply chain.
Materials Nexus is a deep-tech start-up on a mission to discover new materials that significantly reduce the environment, economical and social cost of items critical to our lives. Their ground-breaking AI-enabled software transforms the way new materials are discovered and designed. Using rapid automated processes and advanced quantum calculations we work with partners to reduce global CO2e emissions and accelerate the discovery of next-gen materials from decades to months.
Dr Jonathan Bean, CEO of MatNex said: “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to partner with Innovate UK and LCM to use our AI platform in this area – and this is just one of many improved materials that we are planning to develop.”
Albert Slot, Managing Director of LCM added: “Critical materials are essential for various high-tech applications including electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, medical devices and information technology, and are often subject to supply chain vulnerabilities. By investing in projects such as this, the potential exists to revolutionise the production processes of these materials, therefore reducing dependence on foreign sources and enhancing domestic control.”
GKN-Hoeganaes will be supporting the MatNex EMPRESS programme, Chris Schade, Vice President of Advanced Materials said: “We are excited as a new entrant into manufacturing permanent magnets to be able to be part of the MatNex EMPRESS programme as we believe it will help us optimize alloy selection with maximum speed and minimum cost. In addition, we believe it will form the basis for the way we will develop alloys for all aspects of our business in the future.”
For more information and to see the list of successful projects visit the website here.