"With funds obtained in this way, Maddog is able to say that the project is being launched with no government money at all."
He is able to say anything he wants, :) but that doesn't meant it isn't a lie or at best deceptive. Taxation is taxation, even if the money never passes through the governments coffers on the way to its destination.
It does sound like a great project though. I might ask why such approaches are not tried in the US (and I hope that the answer has nothing to do with the funding approach)?