(Tel Aviv, 29 September 2013) A new era of research and innovation in science, engineering, and
life sciences is opening in China with a joint venture between Israel’s prestigious Technion – Israel
Institute of Technology – and Shantou University (STU) to build a new academic facility in
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 fulfil its leading role in TGIT.
Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the LKSF, spoke at today’s ceremony in Tel Aviv to formalise the
memorandum of understanding for the establishment of TGIT. The agreement was signed by
Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie and STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua, and will soon be
brought for the approval of the Technion’s and Chinese statutory authorities.
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.
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
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.
“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. “Our responsibility is to invest in
reforms in education that unlock that genius and enable the continuing realisation of human
potential, building a knowledge rich society and securing a sustainable quality of life for all. Failing
to do so amounts to a crime against the future.”
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. He said economies in Guangdong
and China are undergoing structural changes, to which industrial and technological innovations
were critical factors for success.
“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 Gu forecast that in 10 years’ time, TGIT will become the best technological school in
Guangdong Province, and in 20 years, one of the best in China, with a number of new technologies
and associated start-up companies being developed by TGIT’s staff and students.
In 30 years, TGIT will be recognised internationally for excellence in education and research, with
special characteristics of technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and will have become the
high-tech powerhouse in Guangdong Province, he predicted.
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.
“We believe in globalisation. We believe that cross-cultural dialogues are essential. Opening up
Technion and Shantou to these cultural dialogues is very important,” Professor Lavie said.
During the campus construction phase, the inaugural group of TGIT students will spend the first
two years of studies at Technion in Israel, and will all come back to Shantou in their third year, in
order to cultivate the culture of innovation locally.
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 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.
About the Li Ka Shing Foundation
The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 by global entrepreneur and philanthropist Li
Ka-shing. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his
assets to it. To date, the Foundation has granted over HK$14.4 billion (US$1.86 billion) in
charitable donations, approximately 90 per cent in support of education reform initiatives and
medical services in Greater China region.
The Foundation supports projects that promote social progress through expanding access to quality
education and medical services and research, encouraging cultural diversity and community
involvement. For more information, please visit: http://www.lksf.org .
About Shantou University
Established in 1981 in Guangdong Province in Southeast China, Shantou University is a university
co-developed by the Ministry of Education, People’s Government of the Guangdong Province, and
the Li Ka Shing Foundation. It is a key comprehensive university under the “Project 211” program
of Guangdong Province. Shantou University has 10 Schools and Colleges, five affiliated hospitals
and 21 academic departments, offering 36 undergraduate programs, 84 Master’s programs and 25
PhD programs. The University hosts a student population of 9,448 undergraduate and graduate
students, nurturing over 70,000 talents for different industries and various organisations thus far.
Shantou University is the only public university in the world that receives long-term funding from
the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which has committed and donated more than HK$6 billion to the
University to date.
For more information, please visit: http://english.stu.edu.cn
Israel’s emergence as a world leader in high-tech can be largely credited to the Technion, a global
leader in cutting-edge research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Three Technion scientists have
won Nobel Prizes in the past decade, and Technion researchers have made countless contributions
to science, technology and medicine. Technion’s highly-trained graduates are the engine that drives
Israel’s “Start-up Nation” economy. Technion’s powerful synergy with the tech sector in Israel has
created an ecosystem of technological innovation, attracting numerous international tech giants
such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, and inspiring hundreds of start-up enterprises in Israel and
throughout the world. Together with its ranking as one of the world’s best sci-tech universities, it
was the Technion’s success in driving Israel’s high-tech sector that convinced New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg to choose the Technion-Cornell partnership to establish a new,
innovative applied science campus in New York, aimed as being a “game changer” for the city’s
tech sector. Technion’s 13,000 students and researchers study in 18 academic departments and 52
research centers and institutes. As an increasingly globalised university the Technion is developing
a variety of international programs, and a growing number of foreign students are attracted to the
Technion for its outstanding reputation.
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