Rare earth magnet company Noveon celebrates opening

Jun 02, 2023
Lance Winter

Noveon Magnetics Inc., a San Marcos based rare earth magnets manufacturer, celebrated its opening with a huge gathering on Friday.

“Noveon is bettering our community, they’re creating a stronger – greener future – by building a secure, domestic rare earth magnet supply right here in Texas,” said Page Michel, President of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce. “In 10 years Noveon will have provided a tax-base boost of more than $900,000 to the City of San Marcos, nearly $620,000 to Hays County, and $1.3 million to the San Marcos school district.”

San Marcos City Councilman Mark Gleason said the council is proud to have Noveon establish its headquarters, “In our backyard.”

“The new facility is already bringing good paying jobs to hardworking people at San Marcos,” Gleason said. “Noveon isn't just helping improve the San Marcos community. It’s also helping enhance our national security since the US currently imports the vast majority of rare earth magnets from China.”

Dr. Gene Bourgeois, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas State University, referred to Noveon as an excellent example of the good resulting from private and public collaboration.

“It's a testament to dedicated efforts made by elected and public officials, by citizens, by economic development staff, by workforce and talent advocates and representatives of those entities, and of course the business sector in this company specifically,” Bourgeois said. “At Texas State we're always working to enhance our students’ experience during their studies, while also setting them up for career success after graduation.”

Bourgeois said Noveon Magnetics is a partner in helping Texas State, and other higher education institutions in the corridor, achieve all those goals.

“We're fostering a culture of innovation at Texas State that integrates student work and our academic programs with experiences and businesses like Noveon,” Bourgeois said. “We too share a desire to build a secure domestic rare earth supply chain here in Texas. Quite bluntly, when companies like Noveon choose to start or expand its business in San Marcos, it creates a strong jobs pipeline for our graduates, who are very eager to remain in our community.”

Bourgeois added companies like Noveon are critical parts of our education workforce ecosystem.

Tom Lograsso — Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute at Ames laboratory in Ames, Iowa — said they’ve been looking at the issue of critical materials for the last 10 years with a major focus on rare earth and permanent magnets.

“Our mission is to develop technologies that can assist companies like Noveon to bring innovative solutions to the issue of being able to create a supply chain for these materials that, frankly, come from China,” Lograsso said. “In our role, we are a research and development performer. We convene researchers from academia, from the National Laboratories, and from the private sectors to accelerate the development of these technologies. The problem we have is urgent, if we're going to meet our clean energy transition goals and transition to electric vehicles, the time is now. We can't wait five or 10 years to innovate.”

Lograsso said given its mission, it's important to be working with companies like Noveon Magnetics.

“Their willingness to fill the niche by innovative technologies makes our job easier,” Lograsso added. “We look forward to continue working with Noveon and congratulate everyone for their hard work.”

Adrianna Cruz, Executive Director of the Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism, thanked Noveon for choosing San Marcos as its home.

“Your growing presence here in the Lone Star State will continue to make a positive impact on the Texas innovation corridor,” Cruz said. “This new state of the art manufacturing facility will not only support our state's status as a global hub for innovation, but developing the emerging and critical rare earth industry, but we'll also bolster our state's economy.”

Cruz said the facility will be a key piece of the supply chain for a variety of targeted growth industries including automotive, defense, energy, biotech, and others.

“It's exciting to be here with you as we celebrate the success and it's a tremendous accomplishment for Noveon, for the city of San Marcos, and for Texas as a whole,” Cruz said. “At the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, we work together with our local community partners to make sure that we maintain Texas has status as the top state in the nation for business and job creation. It's because of innovative leaders like Noveon that made in Texas is such a powerful global brand. 

CEO and Co-Founder Scott Dunn said Noveon was many things – from high-tech company – to energy company, to a manufacturing company.

“We make things, and the things we make matter to our lives, our national security, our environment, and our society,” Dunn said. “We’re here making things that nobody else can make. We're reinventing an entire industry. It takes a lot of smart and hardworking people to do something like this. So first, and foremost, I'd like to thank our employees - our team.”

Dunn told those attending Noveon was an American company in Texas.

“We should be proud of not only what we're doing and why we're doing it, but also where we're doing it. I feel extremely fortunate to be at the helm of a company that is truly on the cutting edge of technology, manufacturing, and sustainability. And there's working so hard every day to deliver the best product possible.

“We should be proud to even attempt this in the first place and most importantly, we should be proud of what we continue to build today for tomorrow.”