Nico Rosberg visits Oxford with the SDG Impact Lab

It was a huge pleasure to welcome Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula One World Champion, sustainability entrepreneur, and founder of Rosberg Philanthropies, to the University of Oxford last month.

Hearing Nico’s perspective on sustainability and the need for collaboration to address urgent and complex environmental challenges was both motivating and inspiring.

In collaboration with the Oxford SDG Impact Lab, Rosberg Philanthropies funded its first major project in early 2023, The Rosberg Climate Fellow's Programme, which enables Oxford graduate students to work directly with non-academic organisations to apply knowledge and skills to solve some of today's most urgent environmental challenges.

On Monday, Nico met with Vice-Chancellor Irene Tracey and attended the presentations of the 2023 Fellows’ research projects:

Varun Shankar (DPhil student in Engineering Sciences) collaborated with Finnish renewable fuels manufacturer Neste to assess the potential for sustainable fuels in the maritime sector. Varun’s project included a life-cycle analysis of the St Helena freight ship, currently used to transport the Extreme E electric off-road racing cars.

Nishant Chauhan (DPhil Earth Sciences student) worked with The Ocean Cleanup, investigating innovative ways to analyse the dataset from previous expeditions to maximise the net benefits of plastic collection.

John Chua (Masters in Public Policy student), worked with Swiss technology business Climeworks, to analyse the UK’s policy landscape and market readiness for direct air capture (DAC). DAC removes CO2 directly from the air so that it can be stored deep underground for millennia, where it mineralizes through a natural process and transforms into rock.

Nico also participated in a public conversation with Lab Co-Founder Edward Brooks at the Cohen Quad, Exeter College. He discussed his personal journey from sporting champion to sustainability entrepreneur and start-up investor, and the wider role of sport to inspire and drive positive change.

Nico Rosberg said: ‘I’m very proud to visit Oxford University to see the first results of our research projects in collaboration with the SDG Impact Lab. Today’s inspiring presentations were a sentiment of our goal: We bring together the smartest people in the world to challenge the status quo and create real impact during corporate placements."