Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates is said to be quietly starting a new company in the suburb next to Redmond that will oversee his research and philanthropic efforts.

Puget Sound Business Journal’s TechFlash.com, quoting an unnamed source, reports that Gates’ firm will be called bgC3 LLC.

The name stands for Bill Gates, Catalyst and the number three for this being Gates’ third venture, following Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Although Gates retired from Microsoft after 33 years this summer, he continues to work part-time at the firm. He is expected to spend most of his time at his foundation, which has focused on trying to solve healthcare issues in the developing world.

bgC3 will be located in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, mid-way between Redmond, where Microsoft’s headquarters are, and his other foundation’s offices near downtown Seattle.

The source was “emphatic” that bgC3 is not a tech startup or some other for-profit business, TechFlash reports, but would instead help Gates, still the richest man in America with a net worth of US$57 billion according to Forbes, pursue his scientific and technical research interests.

Projects that Gates is backing today include an alternative nuclear reactor that produces no waste or other dangerous materials, TechFlash reports.

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