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TA, Tsinghua universities launch research center
May. 22. 2014  From:Globes

The XIN Center is being established with $300 million of joint funding.

Tel Aviv University and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, which a few months ago announced that they would be launching a joint venture, inaugurated the program yesterday, and announced that a total of $300 million would be invested in it. The joint research center, which opens today, will be named the XIN Center. The center will employ researchers from Israel, China, and around the world.

At first, the center will focus on nanotechnology and life sciences, and will later expand its operations to include other areas as well. The goal is to create a joint research center to serve as an engine to advance industrial innovation. Therefore, alongside the establishment of the center, a $16 million (100 million yuan) investment fund will be established as well, to support inventions that stem from the program. Amir Gal-Or’s Infinity Group, which has extensive operations in China, is the Israeli investor in the fund. The Beijing government and a group of private investors made up of Tsinghua alumni will invest in the fund as well.

Tsinghua University is one of China’s top two universities, and some of the country’s political and financial elite are among its graduates. Tsinghua has extensive ties to universities around the world, and it is increasingly recognized as a premier university, on a par with top US schools.

In honor of the signing event, Tsinghua University President Prof. Chen Jining visited Israel today. He said that the aim of the joint venture was to educate the next generation of innovation leaders in the two countries. Jining told “Globes” that he saw the universities of the future as being more tightly interwoven with the fabric of the community, and particularly with the high tech communities in their areas. “Information technology removes the barriers between the universities and the world outside them,” he said, “and between different cultures. Our job is to educate students who can work in different cultures - China’s future leaders, who will understand the world, and the world’s future leaders, who will understand China.”

Tel Aviv University President Prof. Joseph Klafter said that the collaboration came from below, from the Israeli and Chinese scientists who “fell in love with each other,” despite the cultural differences between them.

Though they all speak English, students participating in the program, from both sides, will try to learn Chinese and Hebrew as well, as needed. Enrollment opens today, and, in the future, the list of investors will be published as well.

 

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