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Launch of First Israeli University in China

Five thousand in attendance for groundbreaking of
Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology

(Shantou, China 16 December 2015) – The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a global leader in science and technology education, broke ground today to launch the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) in Shantou, China located in Guangdong Province. GTIIT, a historic partnership between the Technion and Shantou University, will offer high-level, innovative and research-oriented undergraduate and graduate education.

Leading the groundbreaking ceremony were former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Hong Kong business leader and philanthropist Li Ka-shing, Technion President Peretz Lavie, GTIIT Chancellor Li Jiange, GTIIT Vice Chancellor, Technion Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover, and Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space.

GTIIT will create not just a new academic facility, but a new era of cooperative research between Israel and China in science, engineering and the life sciences.  For the Chinese, the GTIIT brings the Technion’s expertise on creating a topnotch technical institute, as well as a stimulating dose of Israeli-style entrepreneurialism on a strategic level.

“In this day and age, no one has an iota of doubt that technological innovation underpins a country’s ability to create collective wealth, and that it is the key impetus to individual success.  Creativity is the defining centerpiece of our time — powering us into the future.  Establishing a creative paradigm is not easy to set right, only through education and the rule of law can we build a free and fair, fun and fruitful future for all,” said Mr Li Ka-shing.

“Our unprecedented collaboration will be truly transformational for the Technion, Shantou and Chinese education.  The combination of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel and the unbelievable scale and resources of China will result in a great partnership.  Together we will create a major research institute that will help not only China and Israel, but also mankind in general,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie.

At the ceremony, President Peres said, “The establishment of a Technion campus in China is more proof that Israeli innovation is breaking down geographic borders.  China is one of Israel's major partners in technology and hi-tech, and there are over 1,000 Israeli companies active in China.  I hope that the economic cooperation between these two countries will continue to expand, as both countries have much to share with, and learn from, one another.”

“This is an unprecedented achievement for the Israeli academia, which in fact, opens up an Israeli university in China,” said Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis during the ceremony.  “I see a strategic importance in strengthening and deepening our relations with China in all aspects: economically, technologically and scientifically.  One of the major goals I set when I took office is strengthening and encouraging cooperation between Israeli and Asian countries that have a great deal of respect towards Israeli innovation, science and high-tech industry.”

“I am very happy for the cooperation materialising between the Technion; Guangdong Province, one of the richest and most important of China’s provinces, and Shantou University.  This collaboration will lead to the construction of a Technion campus at Shantou,” said Technion Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover, GTIIT Vice Chancellor.  “The Technion will contribute its extensive experience in training engineers who know how to apply what they have learned, and turn their knowledge into commercial products that focus on science and technology.  Our Chinese partners will contribute their diligence and devotion, qualities that we Israelis are somewhat lacking.  Thus, this collaboration will benefit both sides.  I would like to acknowledge special thanks to Mr Li Ka-shing and the philanthropic fund he established, for his remarkable return to his hometown and his outstanding contribution to its advancement.”

“This week, Shantou became Haifa's forth twin city,” said Yona Yahav, mayor of Haifa.  The connection between Shantou and Haifa is unique due to the high involvement of Haifa in the Chinese economy.  The ecosystem created by the economic cooperation between higher education and entrepreneurship, as exists in the case of the Technion and Haifa, is a successful model that the Chinese wish to implement in Shantou.  The Haifa municipality sees national importance in advancing the cooperation and strengthening of ties between China and Israel.”

“I want to thank the Israeli Government and the colleagues at Technion, facilitating the progress of human civilisation through science and technology has been the common aspiration of China and Israel.  GTIIT will continue the fine tradition of Technion in Shantou, Guangdong Province so as to build the ‘Silicon Valley’ in South China,” said Li Jiange, inaugural President of GTIIT.

For the Technion, the GTIIT means increased global reach and stature.  The investment in the collaboration will also benefit the research facilities and infrastructure at the Technion’s Haifa campus.  It will also form an anchor in the Far East that complements the Technion’s partnership with Cornell University at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, in New York City.  Finally, an industrial park planned for the GTIIT campus will serve as a foothold for Israeli companies to crack key markets in the U.S. and China. 

GTIIT is fully supported by both Guangdong Provincial Government and Shantou Municipal Government.  Those two governments granted the land for the university, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation has been supportive in the preparation and construction of interim campus of the GTIIT.  Mr Li Ka-shing and his Li Ka Shing Foundation initiated the partnership between the Technion and Shantou University in 2013.

GTIIT will be comprised of three units: the College of Engineering; the College of Science; and the College of Life Science.  Areas of study will eventually include chemical engineering, materials engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, biotechnology and food engineering, biology, and biochemical engineering.  Majors may be adjusted or replaced, depending on the need of Guangdong and the development of the GTIIT.

The initial class of students is planned for 2016 with an initial enrollment plan of 100 students for chemical engineering.  At full build, the GTIIT is expected to enroll some 5,000 students made up of 4,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students.

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(Download)
(From left) Technion President Peretz Lavie, People’s Republic of China (PRC) Vice Minister of Science and Technology Cao Jianlin, Israel Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis, Governor of Guangdong Zhu Xiaodan, former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Secretary of the CCP Guangdong Province Committee Hu Chunhua, Chairman of Li Ka Shing Foundation Mr Li Ka-shing, PRC Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping at the cornerstone laying ceremony.

(Download)
At the ceremony, former Israeli President Shimon Peres said, "The establishment of a Technion campus in China is more proof that Israeli innovation is breaking down geographic borders. China is one of Israel's major partners in technology and hi-tech, and there are over 1,000 Israeli companies active in China. I hope that the economic cooperation between these two countries will continue to expand, as both countries have much to share with, and learn from, one another.”

Mr Li Ka-shing, as facilitator of bringing in GTIIT, thanks Secretary of the CCP Guangdong Province Committee Hu Chunhua and former Israeli President Shimon Peres for attending the cornerstone laying ceremony.

(Download)
Inaugural President of GTIIT Li Jiange and GTIIT Vice Chancellor Aaron Ciechanover put the time capsule containing the “Official Scroll of GTIIT” and the aerial campus shots taken by drone into the cornerstone.


Guangdong Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Inauguration Ceremony
December 16, 2015
Speech by Mr Li Ka-shing

The Honourable President Peres, Governor Zhu, Minister Akunis, President Lavie, Chancellor Li, Vice Chancellor Ciechanover, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning, welcome to Shantou!

We just bore witness to a historical moment. I am most certain, everyone who has laboured for five years to make this vision into reality must be as thrilled and exuberant as I am.

When I am weary and feeling worn, when I am gloomy and feeling torn, I think of Shantou University, herein lies my heart—forever sealed and cast in its halls of learning.

This barren land has turned into a field of dreams. Today 30 plus years later, over 40,000 graduates from our university are pursuing their dreams and missions, each in their own way and our medical graduates serve 70% of the patients in the Chaoshan area.

Driving reforms in education through a dense forest of ideology could be a most harrowing and lonesome venture—toiling through thick and thin. But out of difficulties grew miracles—and this is an awesome one.

Since 2001, Shantou University has successfully pioneered a series of constructive reforms in higher education. Together with Technion Institute, I am so excited at the prospect of even greater transformative changes for the individual and for our country.

In this day and age, no one has an iota of doubt that technological innovation underpins a country’s ability to create collective wealth, and is the key impetus to individual success. Creativity is the defining centrepiece of our time—powering us into the future. Talent, imagination, meta-thinking and qualitative intelligence could neither be moulded, controlled nor channeled. Establishing a creative paradigm is not easy to set right, only through education and the rule of law can we build a free and fair, fun and fruitful future for all.

One of the founders of Technion Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

These are words that resonate deeply in me. No one can afford to sit and wait for miracles—miracles don't just happen! You make them happen. I am 87 years old, my unchanging promise is that I will never stop pushing forward for a more hopeful future.

We witness today the miracle of tomorrow in GTIIT.  To all levels of the Chinese government who supported our quest and walked a thousand miles with unyielding determination, words alone cannot express my deepest gratitude to you all—especially Governor Zhu. And to all my friends in Technion, thank you for pioneering the future of humanity. To the State of Israel, thank you for sharing your greatest treasure with us.

GTIIT will be the home for the wise and innovators. With the profound impact it will bring to mankind and my beloved homeland, I envision a wonderful world for everyone—for generations to thrive with dignity, freedom and happiness. Thank you!



  1. About Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT)
  2. About Technion-Israel Institute of Technology: The Engine Driving Israel’s High-Tech-Based Economy
  3. Biography of Li Jiange, Chancellor of Guangdong Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
  4. Mr Li Jiange’s speech
  5. Biography of Aaron Ciechanover, Vice-Chancellor of Guangdong Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, 2004 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner
  6. About Shantou University


About the Li Ka Shing Foundation

Established in 1980 by Mr Li Ka-shing, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) has three strategic focuses: nurture a new culture of giving; support education reform initiatives; and advance medical research and services. Mr Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it. With initiatives spread over 27 countries and regions, LKSF supports projects that promote social progress through expanding access to quality education and medical services and research, encouraging cultural diversity and community involvement. To date, over HK$20 billion (US$2.56 billion) has been put to work to support all our initiatives, 87% of which benefit projects in the Greater China region.

For more information, please visit: http://www.lksf.org.
Weibo: weibo.com/LKSfoundation
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lksf
Instagram: @lksfoundation
Youtube: www.youtube.com/lksfoundation


For inquiries, please contact:

Li Ka Shing Foundation
Jeremy Lau
Tel: (852) 2128 1207
Fax: (852) 2128 1766
Email: [email protected]