"General Motors in the US and Sumitomo in Japan independently conceived the technology [neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnet], and then worked in secret, racing to commercialize the technology, and without even being aware of the other’s efforts. The two project leaders—Masato Sagawa of Sumitomo and John Croat of GM—surprised each other by announcing their results at the same conference in Pittsburgh in 1983."

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