Remember when Mercedes sold off one of only two 'Uhlenhaut' SLR Coupes for an all-time record auction price of €135 million? Many of us wondered why Merc was flogging off one of its automotive crown jewels, but now we have an answer.
Improve the world around you
At the time of the auction, Mercedes said that the money raised by selling the car would be put to good use in a global fund to encourage younger people to improve the world around them. Well, now we have some of the details on that, as Mercedes launches its 'beVisioneers' charity.
The idea is to encourage as many as 1,000 young people per year to "develop and launch projects offering measurable benefits to the environment and society." Mercedes is collaborating with German non-profit organisation The DO School Fellowships to develop and put the charity into action, and the first grants will be rolled out across India, South Africa and 'several European countries' with applications already open.
Mercedes wants to create a cadre of 'beVisioneers fellows' - innovators and inventors aged between 16 and 28, "who have promising ideas for sustainability projects." A fellowship will come with funding for your proposed project, as well as living expenses in the form of a stipend if it's deemed necessary.
If you're a successful applicant, Mercedes and the DO School will work with you over 12 months to develop your idea, and will pair you up with a suitable mentor to help bring it all to life. Think of it like Dragons' Den funded by Drive To Survive. Mentoring and fellowship of the charity will continue beyond the initial 12 months, we are told.
Local communities and the environment
"As a global company and luxury brand, our responsibility does not end at our factory gates. Donating proceeds from the auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe - the most valuable car in history - gives us the opportunity to support something even more valuable: sustainable change. beVisioneers aims to create a relevant impact, one that benefits its young participants, their local communities and the environment. We are very proud to fund this unique initiative, which empowers a new and diverse generation of innovators. We wish all fellows every success as they make their visions a reality," said Renata Jungo Brüngger, Mercedes-Benz's head of Integrity and Legal Affairs.