World’s 5th Richest Man Commits a $1Billion Wager on Britain’s Future

One of the world’s richest men will create tens of thousands of jobs in the UK as part of a $1 billion “bet on Britain” that will see money invested on battery development and superbug research.

Larry Ellison, the founder of American software behemoth Oracle, revealed last year that he was establishing a new research institute in Oxford to “help solve the world’s great problems”.

The Ellison Institute of Technology (EIT) at Oxford, led by Sir John Bell, is collaborating with former Labour Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair to develop domestic enterprises worth billions of pounds.

“It’s absolutely a bet on Britain,” said Sir John, who oversaw the Covid vaccination deployment. “He could have put this anyplace in the globe, but he decided to put it here for a few reasons.

“One is that we have some excellent universities and scientists. Overall, the output of that science has not been successfully leveraged in the UK.

“It’s a real opportunity to round some of that excellent science up and make it deliver at scale against the big global problems.”

Sir John revealed that the world’s fifth-richest man is drawn to Britain because he believes the country is underachieving its potential.

The former Oxford Regius professor, who left a position he had held for more than two decades to take on the role, said Ellison will create “tens of thousands” of employment in the UK in fields including as medical, food security, clean energy, and government policy.

The idea behind the $1 billion (£800 million) Oxford campus, which opens next year, is that the US billionaire will do more than merely invest millions of pounds in current businesses.

Instead, Ellison, Sir John, and Sir Tony want to start businesses in the UK from scratch.

Sir John, a 71-year-old Canadian immunologist, stated that the Institute’s aims include developing a new superfuel that mimics the energy that drives the sun.

If successful, nuclear fusion might provide virtually endless clean and economical energy to fulfill global needs.

He also plans to invest in battery technologies for drones and other huge vehicles.

“We not only want to produce green energy, but we want to store it as well,” said Sir John, who previously advised the government on its life sciences strategy. “Batteries for airplanes, batteries for ships, batteries for everything.”

Part of the aim is to challenge China’s dominance in a market previously focused on electric vehicles. However, Sir John maintains that the EIT’s objective is much larger.

“Obviously, there is a geopolitical argument. Obviously, Tony Blair is interested, and with good reason. But we will not pick a battle with China. We just believe we can do things as well as them.”

Sir John also intends to use his strengths by developing a database of infectious diseases that may be used to discover and attack superbugs, as well as address the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

All of these efforts are intended to assist halt the steady collapse of British enterprises that have been forced to rely on foreign investors for funding.

Sir John, who has previously labeled London as a “bad place” to raise money, stated that this bet on Britain aims to preserve some of the country’s successes.

“We don’t really have the productive capital in this country to allow us to scale and to take bets on some of this technology as it evolves,” he went on to say. “That’s the big problem.

“And I believe that if there was greater access to that financing, we would have had more successful enterprises that would have gone on to commercialize items, sell them, and pay more taxes.

“There have been significant subsidies for scientific research and development. And the problem is, if no corporations ever pay that tax [back when they make a profit], you can understand the Treasury becoming irritated. So we really need to turn the corner and make it happen. However, a shortage of finance is preventing us from moving forward.

However, he admits that turning the dial will be difficult.

“I think this [money] gives us an opportunity to demonstrate that it can be done,” he told reporters. “We will train people to do it. We will have a cohort of entrepreneurs who can expand and help other businesses develop. And it might convince other people, other investors, that this isn’t such an awful place to invest.”

Ellison stepped down as Oracle CEO in 2014, yet he remains the company’s largest shareholder and has a net worth of over $146 billion.

The US millionaire, who races yachts and collects samurai swords, is reportedly urging Donald Trump to name Senator Tim Scott as his running partner in the 2024 presidential election.

Although Ellison is an unconventional figure, his wealth and desires are true.

According to public documents, he has donated $44 million to Tony Blair’s think tank and has set aside another $272 million for future gifts to “support effective governance work in Africa”.

The EIT may also soon become involved in setting government policies. It is no secret that Sir Tony is a supporter of digital ID cards, which proponents claim will make it easier for people to access public services and policymakers to focus support.

Critics claim that they imply excessive state intrusion.

Darren Jones, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is also said to be particularly interested in digital IDs.

If Labour wins this year’s general election, Blair’s think tank may collaborate with the EIT to implement such a system.

Sir John stated that it is still early days and that his institute is apolitical.

He stated, “We are not an extension of the Labour Party. The ideas and innovations that we will develop should be of interest to all parties. If we get another Conservative government, I believe they will be quite excited about what we are accomplishing as well.”

Sir John is convinced that the Oxford site will attract a new generation of fast-growing enterprises, although he acknowledges that hurdles lie ahead.

“We just don’t have a lot of really good examples in life sciences at least where we’ve grown companies, kept them in the UK and grown them to be global leaders,” he went on to say.

“And as a result, I believe people are skeptical. I believe this presents a chance for us to demonstrate that it is possible.”

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