Largest-Ever Gift to Israeli University: $130M to Technion

Hong Kong magnate funds Chinese technological center to be built in partnership with Haifa's Technion.

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Gil Ronen,

Netanyahu at Technion, 2012
Netanyahu at Technion, 2012
Flash 90

Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing has said he will donate $130 million to the Technion in Haifa, to help establish a joint academic venture with Shantou University, in China’s Guangdong Province. This will be the largest-ever contribution to an Israeli university.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Technion will partner with Shantou University, to which Li has donated some $750 million over 30 years, to build a technology institute and innovation center at Shantou University in the image of the successful Israeli technological university, whose graduates have been responsible for many start-up successes.

The Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government will set aside approximately $147 million to fund construction and initial operations of the new campus, to be located next to Shantou University.

“If many universities in Guangdong and China do the same as Technion has been doing in Israel, an innovation-based economy will emerge,” said Shantou University Provost Gu Peihua at a ceremony in Tel Aviv on Sunday, according to a press release.

In 2011, Technion together with Cornell University won a tender to build a research institute in New York City.

“This is one more step in turning the Technion into a university with a global presence: one in the West in New York and one in the East with Guangdong in China,’’ said Boaz Golani, Technion’s vice president of external relations and resource development.

Li, who has backed universities in the U.S., Britain and Canada, has a long history of investing in the Jewish state, according to the Journal. Among other things, he invested in Waze, a traffic-mapping start-up recently purchased by Google for $1.1 billion. A press release said he used proceeds from the acquisition for the Technion donation.