Bill Gates invests in weird, yet far-reaching projects
Bill Gates invests in weird, yet far-reaching projects
In recent times, a lot of controversial information about Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has been circling in the media. Sometimes this news is rubbish but sometimes there is a grain of truth in it. Reportedly, Bill Gates has chosen very peculiar startup projects to invest in. At first glance, they may seem even bizarre. However, at a closer look, it becomes clear that all these initiatives are sure to be in-demand scientific know-how. 

1) Solar and geothermal energy

Renewable energy has long been one of Bill Gates' main priorities. He is a huge supporter of environmentally friendly technologies. Gates transfers billions to Baseload Capital, a Swedish manufacturer of geothermal power plants. Notably, this is a very cost-effective project since one module of such a power plant costs about €350.000 and provides energy to 250 households in Europe. Another Bill Gates-backed solar startup is called Heliogen. This clean energy startup is aimed at using artificial intelligence-powered computer vision software. The company has developed an innovative installation with multiple mirrors that focus the sun's beams to achieve temperatures as high as 1,500°C.

2) Nuclear reactor

Apart from renewable energy, Bill Gates makes investments in other innovative energy projects. TerraPower, a nuclear energy startup backed by Bill Gates, quite often receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the Microsoft Chairman. Earlier, the company along with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) had been working on a nuclear reactor of the latest type. The traveling wave reactor concept is based on the principle of a traveling wave. This economical and safe nuclear reactor operates on fast neutrons using uranium-238 and plutonium-239 and generates depleted uranium. According to preliminary estimates, the energy produced by such a reactor will be enough for hundreds of years and it will provide the United States with cheap energy. However, this project has now been suspended due to the escalating trade conflict between the US and China.

3) Artificial meat, eggs, and palm oil

Bill Gates also pays attention to startups focusing on staple food.  In January 2020, Gates invested in the California startup, Memphis Meats, which produces meat from animal cells. Earlier, the billionaire invested more than $200 million in Impossible Foods, Tyson, and Beyond Meat startups that generate plant-based meat substitutes. Hampton Creek Foods also received financial support from Bill Gates. The company developed plant-based eggs. In March of this year, bill Gates added to his investment portfolio the shares of C16 Biosciences, a company that produces artificial palm oil.

4) Genetically engineered 'perfect cow'

This is one of the oddest projects backed by Bill Gates. He has funded genetic research into how to create the perfect cow. The perfect cow was supposed to be a crossbreed of European and African species. GALVmed, a genetic British-based company supported by the Gates Foundation, started working on the project. The perfect cow is expected to produce more milk and easily withstand temperatures beyond that of the average cow. The aim of the project is to eliminate the problem of poverty and hunger.

5) Toilet that transforms waste into fertilizer

The lion's share of Bill Gates’ investment portfolio consists of the stocks of Waste Management, the largest US waste company. The billionaire has also invested in the development of an innovative toilet that does not require water or sewers. "The current toilet simply sends the waste away in the water, whereas these toilets don't have the sewer. They take both the liquids and solids and do chemical work on it, including burning it in most cases", he said.

6) Satellite surveillance system

One of Bill Gates’ most ambitious investment was EarthNow, the US-based startup focusing on the development of satellites and tracking systems. The company’s goal is to deploy a constellation of 500 hi-tech satellites to monitor the entire surface of Earth.
Save for the mentioned projects, Bill Gates also buys up stocks of various companies. The billionaire's investment portfolio includes the "blue chips" of the US stock market: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (47.32%), Walmart, Caterpillar, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and others. Notably, more than 60% of Bill Gates' wealth is invested in equities.
Published: 2020-06-02 09:54:12 UTC
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