Chinese university opens Microsoft-backed U.S. outpost

$40 million grant underwriting new Global Innovation Exchange with University of Washington

A concept artist's rendering of the Global Innovation Exchange building

A concept artist's rendering of the Global Innovation Exchange building

China's Tsinghua University has teamed up with the University of Washington and Microsoft to launch the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) -- a tech-focused graduate school that's the first of its kind.

The program, which was announced Thursday afternoon, will bring people from around the world to a new facility in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle, to learn and work together. The launch marks the first time a Chinese research institution has opened a physical presence in the U.S., the backers said.

Tsinghua is a prestigious, Beijing-based institution that counts current Chinese President Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao as alumni. UW is a key player in the tech industry with alumni including U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Ed Felten and Apple Vice President Bud Tribble.

Microsoft has pledged $40 million to provide "foundational support" to the program, with other organizations expected to provide support later.

The institute's inaugural degree program will be a 15-month Master of Science in Technological Innovation, with its first class of 30-35 students starting in the fall of 2016. GIX will be focused on project-based learning that will allow students and faculty to collaborate with companies and nonprofit groups.

The governance structure of GIX will allow other universities to join as equal partners in the institute to help fuel its growth. According to a press release, the organizations expect more than 3,000 students at GIX by 2025.

Microsoft and Tsinghua University already have a friendly relationship. They founded a Joint Research Center for Innovation and Intellectual Property in China in 2013.

It's interesting that Tsinghua chose to locate the GIX near Seattle and not somewhere like Stanford or Berkeley with closer connections to Silicon Valley. It's a sign of the Seattle area's growing prestige as a technology hub, as well as the Emerald City's connection to China. Seattle has also drawn interest from Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group, which operates an engineering office in the city.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesTsinghua UniversityUniversity of WashingtonMicrosofteducationindustry verticals

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?