The grant by the Li Ka Shing Foundation is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education. It will be partly used to establish the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) in China, under a joint venture between Technion and Shantou University (STU).
TGIT will begin offering undergraduate programmes in civil and environmental engineering and computer sciences in the 2014 academic year. The establishment of an innovation centre, 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.
The grant will also be allocated for strengthening the Technion's home campus in Haifa, for the benefit of its students and researchers, to enable the Technion to fulfil its leading role in TGIT.
“ReWalk”, the robot legs, enable paraplegics to move like abled persons to walk up and down stairs, and even finish the Marathon. Mr Li believes that combining technology and medicines could bring about fruitful results, and deeply feels that knowledge can change the world and improve our living.
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 Professor Lavie to the LKSF headquarters in Hong Kong. That visit to Technion also resulted in an investment from Mr Li’s private investment 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.
A memorandum of understanding for the establishment of TGIT was signed in Tel Aviv by Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie and STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua.
“In this new world of fluid boundaries, the fast changing, fascinating, and transforming power of technology sometime does seem to wave like a magic wand, bringing new models and opportunities to many frontiers and generating new solutions to entrenched problems at a pace that is often hard to keep up with,” Mr Li said during today’s signing ceremony.
“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."
Mr Li and Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan shake hands after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua and Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie.
Founded in 1912, 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, industrial engineering and medicine. 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.