Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has set up a corporate venture capital fund, Alliance Ventures, to invest up to US$1bn in open innovation over the next five years focusing particularly on autonomous driving, connectivity, AI and electrification. The hope is to support the development of new technologies for use by Alliance members.
Up to US$200m could be invested in startups and open innovation partnerships in the first year. The first investment will be made in Ionic Materials, developer of solid-state cobalt-free battery materials designed to improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of high-energy density batteries.
François Dossa, formerly CEO of Nissan Brazil, and with more than 20 years of experience in investment banking, will lead Alliance Ventures. The team will also include cross-functional experts from Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Alliance Ventures will work with existing research and advanced engineering teams to identify technological and geographic markets for investment. Venture capital experts will also be recruited to develop the platform.
Alliance members also invest more than 8.5bn (US$10.42bn) in research and development in total each year.