Nico Rosberg meets Oxford students sponsored by Rosberg Philanthropies to research climate change solutions

Tuesday 24th Oct 2023, 10.36am

Nico Rosberg, founder of Rosberg Philanthropies, entrepreneur and 2016 Formula One World Champion, enjoyed a busy day at the University of Oxford on Monday 23 October celebrating the achievements of the first cohort of Rosberg Philanthropies-sponsored students and their research projects.

The partnership between Oxford University’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Lab and Rosberg Philanthropies, a charitable enterprise to support innovation and environmental initiatives, was announced earlier in 2023.

I’m very excited about the collaboration between Rosberg Philanthropies and Oxford University and we will continue to accelerate innovation and green tech solutions

Nico Rosberg

As part of this collaboration, Rosberg Philanthropies sponsors Oxford graduate students and arranges corporate placements across a strong global business network to conduct research related to environmental and climate change issues, tackling challenges such as carbon capture, ocean plastic pollution and alternative fuels, working in collaboration with business and NGOs.

Nico started his day in Oxford meeting several of the first cohort of Rosberg Climate Fellows and watching presentations of their research.

Nico Rosberg said: ‘I’m very proud to visit Oxford University to see the first results of our research projects in collaboration between Rosberg Philanthropies and 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. I’m very excited about the collaboration between Rosberg Philanthropies and Oxford University and we will continue to accelerate innovation and green tech solutions.’

Most pressing problems

The graduate students’ research addresses some of the most urgent challenges facing our world.

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 cars as part of the Extreme E electric off-road racing series. 

Image of Nico Rosberg shaking hands with Varun ShankarNico Rosberg met several of the first cohort of Rosberg Climate Fellows at Oxford University

Varun said: ‘It’s been a real privilege to be part of the first Rosberg Climate Fellows cohort. The University’s SDG Impact Lab has given me the opportunity to work directly with corporate partners and apply my knowledge and research in a practical, collaborative way, that directly addresses some of the most pressing environmental problems facing our world today.’

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.

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

After hearing from the Fellows, Nico Rosberg enjoyed a tour of some of Oxford’s landmarks, including the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Bodleian Library, before meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Irene Tracey.

Whilst in Oxford, Nico also took part in an event to talk about 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.

Championing Sport and Sustainability: In Conversation with Nico Rosberg, was enjoyed by a capacity audience at Exeter College’s Cohen Quad in the afternoon.

Find out more about the Rosberg Climate Fellows here: Business Impact | Oxford SDG Impact Lab (