Joint Israeli-Chinese academic venture will create major research institute for the benefit of mankind.
The establishment of the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology in Guangdong Province in China – a joint venture of the prestigious, Haifa-based Technion-Institute for Technology and Shantou University – represents the exceptional cooperation between Israeli and Chinese institutions. The agreement was signed recently at the Tel Aviv Hilton. Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan was among the esteemed guests.
A grant of $130 million from the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) enabled the creation of this academic facility. It was the largest gift ever given to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education.
With the participation of prominent international researchers and scientists, the Institute will offer 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 bring Israeli technology to China and promote innovation.
The Institute will join Shantou University in Life Sciences research. By 2020, it will offer courses in various engineering-related fields, from mechanical to aerospace.
The partnership between Israel and LKSF began in 2011, when LKSF executives visited the Israeli institute; Technion President Prof Lavie in turn visited LKSF headquarters in Hong Kong. Other donations to the project included profits from an investment by Li Ka Shing’s private venture capital company Horizons in Waze, a revolutionary GPS navigation technology.
“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 Li Ka Shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings, one of the largest developers of residential, office, retail, industrial and hotel properties in Hong Kong.
“But we all know the wands are only as powerful as the wizards who use them, and the magic comes from the genius within. Our responsibility is to invest in education to unlock that genius and enable the continuing realization of human potential, building a society rich in knowledge and securing a sustainable quality of life for all.” To ignore such opportunity “amounts to a crime against the future,” he stated.
“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 declared. “If many universities in Guangdong and China do the same as Technion has been doing in Israel, an innovation-based economy will emerge.”
“When you combine the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel with the unbelievable scale of China, you have a great partnership,” Professor Lavie 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.”
The Technion, founded in 1912, has played a major role in Israel’s emergence as the “start-up nation” and as a global leader in cutting-edge research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Three Technion scientists have won Nobel Prizes in the past decade. It is one of 10 universities worldwide that have built and launched satellites.
Author: Atara Beck
Date: Oct 14, 2013