Qatar and Rolls-Royce will collaborate on a multi-billion pound project to develop and invest in green technology start-ups in the United Kingdom and the Gulf Arab state, with the goal of reaching “unicorn” status, defined as a company worth more than $1 billion.
In a joint statement on Monday, it was said that they want to build five such fast-growing enterprises by 2030 and up to 20 by 2040, and that the venture would be housed at two scientific and engineering campuses in the north of England and Qatar that Doha will support.
The campuses will serve as testbeds for start-ups looking to “prove and scale” innovations to tackle climate change, according to the partners. They stated that they had not yet settled on the specific site or design of either campus and that further information will be released in “mid-2022.”
The news by the world’s largest liquefied natural gas provider and the aerospace business came as global leaders opened the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow, originally reported on Saturday.
The goal of the initiative is to build a “substantial” investment pool to fund research and development as well as give early-stage venture financing to start and scale-up firms. Engineering and production help is expected from Rolls.
The partners intend to recruit co-investors and provide investment possibilities for Qatari enterprises and investors, according to the partners. The project is expected to generate 10,000 employment.
The Qatar Foundation, a non-profit organization, will oversee the project for Qatar, a change for the wealthy Gulf state, whose main interests in the UK are controlled by the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund.