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Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Comes to China With US$130 Million from Li Ka Shing Foundation
The gift is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education

(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 Guangdong Province.

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 aerospace engineering.

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, industrial engineering and medicine.  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.


Visiting the world renowned Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, LKSF Chairman Mr Li Ka-shing is welcomed by its President Peretz Lavie and wife Dr Lena Lavie.  Mr Li reckons that failing to push forward education reforms amounts to a crime against the future, while investing in education will create our future.

Mr Li and Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan shake hands after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua and Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie.

Technion is a world-leading institute in its science and technology research.  Professor Alon Wolf shows Mr Li and STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua the highly flexible Snake Robots, being developed to help rescue workers gather information from unreachable or unsafe places in a disaster scene.

Mechanical engineering professor Moshe Shoham explains to Mr Li how his invention of the world’s first miniature surgical robot, Mazor Robotics, works to increase precision and provide a safer surgical environment for patients.

“ReWalk”, the robot legs, enable paraplegics to move like abled persons to walk up and down stairs, and even finish the Marathon.  Mr Li believes that combining technology and medicines could bring about fruitful results, and deeply feels that knowledge can change the world and improve our living.

Mr Li joins the three Nobel Laureates from Technion and says, “all great men will create a better life for mankind.” (From left) Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Professor Dan Shechtman, Mr Li, Professor Lavie and Professor Avram Hershko. Professor Shectman, 2011 Chemistry Nobel Laureate, has agreed to be the guest lecturer of the STU.

Mr Li is the fifth person being conferred The President’s Award by Technion.  Referring LKSF as his third son,  he says he and his third son are honoured to be able to bring about effective and efficient changes to the world around us.
On his first visit to Israel, Mr Li meets the country’s President Shimon Peres.  (Photo courtesy: Office of the President of the State of Israel)

Mr Li meets and lunches with Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan at the signing ceremony.

Mr Li Ka-shing Speech: If I Had a Magic Wand
About Li Ka-shing
About Li Ka Shing Foundation
About Shantou University
‘Why Technion?’
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology: Fact Sheet

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: .

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:

About Technion

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.

For inquiries, please contact:

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Ms Doron Shaham
Tel: +972-50-3109088
Email: [email protected]

Li Ka Shing Foundation
Mr Jeremy Lau
Tel: +852-2128 1207
Fax: +852-2128 1766
Email: [email protected]