Nature sez “Royal Society to fund carbon capture and renewables ventures”. Which seemed a bit odd to me – why pick just those? But Nature seems to have misread the RS, who themselves say something rather different: “Criteria for the projects will have an emphasis on non-medical research although interdisciplinary research that may overlap into medical applications will be considered” as the only hint of what they will invest in.
Perhaps slightly oddly, the fund (which will come from donations) “…will be evergreen and financial returns from successful projects will go back into the fund and be used for further investment.” On the face of it, that means they will never take money out to fund basic science.
Does this make sense? Perhaps. There are all these clever scientist type folk who will, in conjunction with the cunning vulture-capitalist type folk, pick promising long term projects. Worth a go, if people will give them the money.
And this is probably my chance to say that I sat next to that Herman Hauser once, at a Christmas do at Virata, one of his early companies.