Close to a billion pounds will be invested in the next few years.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is looking to raise over £700 million to support massive planned investment in innovation over the coming years.

Around £150 million will be invested in the first year through start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs, with a focus being placed on schemes such as new mobility, electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence. With the investments coming, Alliance Ventures is set to become the largest corporate venture capital fund in the automotive industry.

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'Our open innovation approach will allow us to invest and collaborate with start-up companies and technology entrepreneurs, who will benefit from the global scale of the alliance,' said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. 'This new fund reflects the collaborative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset at the heart of the alliance.'

As well as the investment over the coming years, the Alliance will continue to invest £8.5 billion in research annually. Renault (40 percent), Nissan (40 percent) and Mitsubishi Motors (20 percent) will fund the new investment together, and will be led by a dedicated investment committee to make decisions and monitor their performance. As part of the Alliance 2022 strategic plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is predicting that the combined revenues of all three brands will reach close to £180 million by the end of 2022, and that annual sales will exceed 14 million then too.

Increased revenues will initially come in the shape of cost-cutting and cost-avoidance measures in areas including electrification, autonomous drive systems and vehicle connectivity – which is something of a surprise given they are the areas the Alliance is looking to improve. By the end of the strategic plan, the Alliance is aiming to launch 12 pure electric models, utilising common EV platforms and components, while also introducing 40 vehicles with autonomous drive capability and developing robo-vehicle ride-hailing services.