Tel Aviv University and China’s Tsinghua University signed a broad-reaching collaboration agreement to develop life sciences research and development in China.
In a statement reported by Israel’s Globes business daily, the two universities said they plan to create a research center to be called XIN, which means “new” in Chinese. They will dedicate “hundreds of millions of dollars” to set up the research institute which will focus on life sciences and nanotechnology, and co-ordinate frequently with high-tech industry.
The agreement between the two educational institutions comes as China seeks to harness Israeli innovation, in major ways, including establishing a technology incubator in Israel and beefing up the frequency of flights between the two countries to facilitate business interaction.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited China officially in May, where he said, “The future belongs to those who lead in innovation and technology,” adding that Israel manufactures “more intellectual property than any other country in the world in relation to its size. If we create a partnership between Israel’s inventive capability and China’s manufacturing capability, we will have a winning combination.”
As part of the XIN project, a 100 million yuan ($16 million) investment fund will be established to seed ventures created by XIN Fellows. The fund will be managed by Infinity Group, whose investors include the Beijing government and Tsinghua University alumni..
Tel Aviv University president Prof. Joseph Klafter said the establishment of the XIN Center is evidence of the considerable esteem in which the Chinese hold Israeli innovation and the high academic standards of Tel Aviv University.
President Chen of Tsinghua University expressed the readiness of his institution to work with Tel Aviv University to push forward cross-disciplinary research and explore ways to answer global challenges.