The state of Qatar will “within weeks” launch a £1.5bn fund backing the development of green energy ideas, with the hope of creating new unicorns in the UK.
The fund will be part of a larger £4bn investment from the Qatar Foundation into the development of a green energy R&D campus facility, in partnership with Rolls-Royce.
Tech unicorns UK – complete guide to the billion-dollar club – The UK is the go-to breeding ground for tech unicorns in Europe with 44 billion-dollar companies so far spanning fintech, e-commerce and artificial intelligence
Organisers are saying the campus will be a “globally iconic building with considerable facilities” including labs, conference centres and event spaces with its possible location being scouted in the golden triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge.
Possible projects to be developed at the facility include green aircraft fuel, carbon capture and storage, nuclear energy improvements and long-term energy storage.
The hope is the site will attract top talent from the UK and around the world, help tech company ideas grow and then see them float in the UK rather than the US, as has been the trend of late.
Qatar has committed to fund the project for 20 years with another research centre being planned in Doha.
Rolls-Royce have committed to supplying engineering expertise for the project, rather than capital.
The Qatar Foundation was reported as saying in The Times: “We continue to work alongside Rolls-Royce to develop new, leading climate tech ventures and technology hubs, both in the UK and Qatar.”
More on green energy
Nuclear fusion: the start-ups chasing energy’s holy grail – Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the sun; the hope is that it could also power our homes
Future Energy Ventures launches €250m climate tech fund – The fund will focus on Series A and B investments in Europe, North America and Israel