The University of Washington and Tsinghua University has established a new partnership with the aim of creating a science and technology-focused academic institute named the Global Innovation Exchange – or GIX.
Microsoft is one of GIX’s founding partners and is providing US$40 million in financial support of the project, with a number of other universities, companies and research-focused non-profit organisations expected to join over the coming years.
It is hoped that within ten years, a new custom-built facility in Seattle will be in place to allow more than 3,000 people to carry out their studies.
“Our support for GIX is grounded in our mission,” explained Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft. “Microsoft was founded on the belief that technology can empower people to do amazing things. Today, our mission is to empower every individual and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. This includes helping people tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our world today.”
GIX will bring together people from around the world and provide education on innovative ways to address current global challenges, starting in 2016 with an inaugural master’s degree in technology innovation.
The role technology and science can play in addressing issues such as climate change, energy, healthcare and urban planning will be at the forefront of GIX’s mission.
“GIX will create a lot of new opportunities – more opportunities for more students to study important subjects, opportunities for deeper relationships and the exchange of ideas between the US and China, and economic opportunities across the innovation ecosystem,” added Smith. “We’re excited to be able to play a role in helping to make GIX a success.”