(Communicated by the Technion’s Spokesperson)
The agreement to build the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) was signed on September 29, 2013 by Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie and Sjantou University Provost Professor Gu Peihua, and will soon be brought for the approval of the Technion’s and Chinese statutory authorities.
The Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) – sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) with a US$130 million grant – will represent unprecedented cooperation between the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government, Technion, and STU. Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government will set aside RMB900 million (approximately US$147 million) to fund construction and initial operations, as well as 330,000 square metres for the campus to be located next to STU.
The US$130 million grant from LKSF is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education. It will be allocated for strengthening the Technion's home campus in Haifa, for the benefit of its students and researchers, to enable the Technion to fulfill its leading role in TGIT.
TGIT will begin offering undergraduate programs in civil and environmental engineering and computer sciences in the 2014 academic year. The establishment of an innovation center, connecting industries in Guangdong with Israel’s technological creativity, will bridge Israeli technology into China and promote joint research and innovation. The language of instruction at the TGIT will be in English and its faculty will be recruited from international researchers and scientists in universities around the world.
Beginning in 2014, TGIT will join STU to conduct life sciences research based on Big Data to tackle the pressing social and livelihood issues like inadequate healthcare system and services, as well as improvements of clinical diagnosis procedures.
By 2020, the institute will offer courses in other engineering-related fields, from mechanical to aerospace engineering.
The partnership between Israel and LKSF began in 2011, with a visit from LKSF executives to Technion and a reciprocal visit of the Technion President Prof Lavie to the LKSF headquarters in Hong Kong. That visit to Israel also resulted in an investment from Mr Li’s private venture capital company Horizons in Waze – a revolutionary GPS navigation technology. The profits from the recent sale of Waze to Google became part of the donation to Technion.
“In a world of fluid boundaries, the transformative power of technology waves like a magic wand, bringing new models and opportunities to many frontiers and generating new solutions to entrenched problems,” said Mr. Li during today’s signing ceremony.
Professor Gu said Technion had shown the world what the future university should do in order to deliver values of regional, national and international significance. “What Technion has done to advance the Israeli economy through student and staff research and innovation is an example for Chinese universities to follow,” Professor Gu said. “If many universities in Guangdong and China do the same as Technion has been doing in Israel, an innovation-based economy will emerge."
Professor Lavie described the partnership as “a major breakthrough and an opportunity to strengthen ties between Israel and China.”
“When you combine the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel with the unbelievable scale of China, you have a great partnership,” he said. “We hope that by combining our research methodologies with the scale and resources of China, we will create a major research institute that will help not only China and Israel, but also mankind in general.”
Founded in 1912, the Technion has earned a global reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, life sciences, stem cells, water management, sustainable energy, information technology, biotechnology, materials engineering, aerospace and industrial engineering. It is one of the top 100 universities worldwide, based on the prestigious Shanghai ranking, and one of the only 10 universities in the world that have built and launched satellites. Three Technion professors have won Nobel Prizes
in the past nine years. A year ago, together with Cornell University, the Technion won an international competition to establish a research institute in the heart of New York.