Rolls-Royce and Qatar Foundation announced they will enter into a long-term partnership to create a global centre for climate technology innovation. As partners, Rolls-Royce and Qatar Foundation will develop two world-class campuses dedicated to launching, investing in and growing businesses that can accelerate the global energy transition.
The centre will help entrepreneurs create and grow new climate technology businesses, aided by academic leadership, funds for R&D and early-stage venture capital investment. Businesses will be able to use infrastructure on the campuses to test, prove and scale their technologies, enabling them to have a rapid impact. This integrated approach is a global first in climate technology.
Qatar Foundation and Rolls-Royce are ambitious in their vision for the centre and for the scale of investment and technological change it will create. To address the challenge of climate change, the world needs tangible, technology-driven businesses at a scale that matters. This centre is intended to create and scale-up businesses worth multi-billions of pounds.
Rolls-Royce and Qatar Foundation will work in partnership to build the campuses, generating up to 1,000 jobs in the centres, and at least 10,000 within the related start-up companies and broader ecosystem by 2040. A substantial investment pool will be created for venture funding at the scale needed to create global climate tech businesses with real impact and in anticipation that third-party investors will co-invest, with a target to grow up to five unicorns by 2030, and up to 20 by 2040, driving significant economic value for investment partners. (A “unicorn” is a privately held start-up company valued at over US$1 billion).
This partnership will position Qatar among the top 5 countries globally investing in clean energy RD&D (in terms of spend per GDP) and as a pioneer within Small Advanced Economies. It is also in line with Qatar’s vision to further promote the state’s economic diversification, including legislative and commercial incentives to develop projects that preserve the environment and counter climate change.
A detailed analysis will be completed to finalise the design of the centre and select locations for campuses in both countries. This is expected to conclude in mid-2022. The North of England has been identified as a location to reflect the scale of the intended physical campus, alongside access to necessary skills and to manufacturing infrastructure.