Innovation institute set for Seattle
Updated: 2015-06-19 11:08
By YU DENG in Seattle(China Daily USA)
It's the first time a Chinese research university has established a physical presence in the US.
In pursuit of solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, Tsinghua University in China and the University of Washington in Seattle will join hands to create the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), an institute dedicated to educating the next generation of innovators.
GIX is based on the conviction that effectively addressing major scientific and technical issues on a global scale will require ever-increasing coordination between China and the US.
"In the face of global challenges related to the environment, resources and health, we need to cooperate across national boundaries to find solutions," said Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong at the announcement of GIX 2015 at Bellevue City Center on June 18. "GIX creates an innovative education model that will facilitate international and interdisciplinary integration for technological innovations."
"Actually, so many of today's challenges really can't be solved by one discipline alone. Through this global model for higher education, we can educate leaders with a passion for discovery and ability to be nimble," said UW Interim President Ana Mari Cauce.
GIX will pioneer new models of global teaching and learning by directly connecting students and faculty through equal collaborations with research-led companies and non-profits in a holistic, project-based environment that will prepare students to help solve a range of global challenges.
Being the first of several private sector partners to support the new institute, Microsoft provided not only the vision for the pioneer project, it also demonstrated its commitment by providing $40 million in funding.
"While we think there is an important role for research-led companies like Microsoft, I believe great universities have always been critical to long-term innovation. This is why Microsoft is so excited to support the University of Washington and Tsinghua University in establishing GIX, the first institute of its kind," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee congratulated both universities on the collaboration at the announcement.
"This is outstanding news for Washington and a result of our ongoing efforts to strengthen our unique and cutting-edge education and business relationships with China," said Inslee. "Given our state's close economic ties to China and our history of fostering innovative, forward-looking industries, the Puget Sound region is the perfect place for leading minds from around the world to collaborate on scientific and technical solutions to global challenges. GIX is a groundbreaking and unprecedented idea that will create new opportunities for the people of Washington, China and beyond."
GIX will be located on Seattle's eastside in Bellevue's Spring District and will open its doors in the fall of 2016 with an inaugural master's degree in technology innovation, and will grow with additional degree and certificate programs and fields of study over the next decade.
GIX's initial degree offering will be a 15-month Master's of Science in Technology Innovation with an initial cohort of 30 to 35 students starting in fall 2016. New degree and certificate programs will be added over time in response to challenges and opportunities yet to be decided. Private sector companies and non-profits will actively participate, helping identify critical needs and providing mentors. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 3,000 learners will be part of GIX.