UPDATE: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Fund Could Spend $1 Billion in Tech

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has confirmed the launch of Alliance Ventures, a capital fund that may invest much as $1 billion over the next five years on new technologies and innovation.

The fund, which was reported last week by Reuters, plans to spend as much as $200 million this year. Reaching $1 billion by 2021 would make the fund the largest of its kind in the auto industry, according to the companies.

Chairman Carlos Ghosn says Alliance Ventures will enable the three carmakers to quickly invest and collaborate with startups and technology entrepreneurs. The fund also gives the young companies access to the global scale of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

The fund’s first investment is in Ionic Materials Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based developer of solid-state, cobalt-free battery chemistries. Researchers consider both characteristics key to building next-generation batteries that can recharge faster and provide greater range for electric vehicles.​​​​​