Qatar Foundation, Rolls-Royce venture into climate tech business

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Qatar Foundation (QF), a state-led non-profit organization, and Rolls-Royce, British luxury automobile maker, have entered into a long-term partnership deal to create a global center for climate technology innovation.

As part of the deal, Rolls-Royce and QF will develop two world-class campuses dedicated to launching, investing in and growing businesses that can accelerate the global energy transition.

The center will be focused on helping entrepreneurs to create and grow new climate technology businesses, aided by academic leadership, funds for research and development (R&D) and early-stage venture capital investment. 

“Today’s most pressing problems: climate change, soil restoration, water resources, animal welfare and human health are all inextricably linked. We stand ready to work together with our partners Rolls-Royce in developing innovative solutions and clean energy technologies,” said, HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of QF.

The integrated approach, which is a global first in climate technology, will allow businesses to use infrastructure on the campuses to test, prove and scale their technologies, enabling them to have a rapid impact. The center also aims to create and scale-up businesses.

Rolls-Royce and QF will work in partnership to build the campuses, generating up to 1,000 jobs in the centers, and at least 10,000 within the related startup companies and broader ecosystem by 2040. An 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 5 unicorns by 2030, and up to 20 by 2040.

Warren East
Warren East
CEO – Rolls-Royce

“Rolls-Royce has pioneered power since its inception and we are already playing a key role in accelerating the energy transition in some of the hardest sectors to decarbonize. This partnership with Qatar Foundation will enable us to accelerate progress in clean energy, including by allowing us to fully take advantage of nascent technologies that could have a significant impact on tackling climate change.”

Under the partnership, the British luxury automaker will provide research, engineering and high-end manufacturing support to the center. It will spin out some of its own nascent technologies, in the field of climate tech, outside its existing activities in aerospace, defense and nuclear, that could benefit from the additional capabilities and financing the center will bring. 

QF will serve as the operating partner for Qatar, working with Rolls-Royce to build and operate the innovation campuses by drawing on its expertise and experience in large-scale research and education collaborations. The project is expected to generate as many as 1,300 new high-value jobs in Qatar by 2040, as well as new investment opportunities for Qatari businesses and investors via dedicated funding vehicles.

This global center will ensure innovation has a clear and practical route to market, while bringing together the key stakeholders and capabilities to create a fundamentally innovative way of developing climate tech businesses. The network will launch virtually in 2022, with campuses launching by 2023.

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