Pursuing Solutions to Global Challenges

Jun 29, 2015

Kudos to the University of Washington, Tsinghua University and Microsoft for creating a groundbreaking partnership with the launch of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) which will be located in Bellevue’s Spring District!

Leaders at the press conference acknowledged that this is the first time a Chinese research university has established a physical presence in the United States. This public private partnership opportunity will create the GIX, an institute dedicated to educating the next generation of innovators. A shout out also goes to Microsoft for their $40 million in foundational support to help make this project a reality. GIX creates not only an innovative model, but a unique synergy bringing the brightest minds breaks down global boundaries and empowers the next generation of innovation focused on global solutions. It has been said that company innovations have happened all around our region. Now having the ability for talent from throughout the world to work together to solve global challenges offers a very exciting opportunity. We are thrilled that Bellevue has been selected as the location for this innovative opportunity.

According to the agreement, GIX will open its doors in the fall of 2016 with an inaugural master’s degree in technology innovation, and will grow with additional degree and certificate programs and fields of study over the next decade. GIX will bring together students, faculty, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world to collaborate on real-world technology and design projects. GIX will pioneer new models of global teaching and learning by directly connecting students and faculty through equal collaborations with research-led companies and nonprofits in a holistic, project-based environment that will prepare students to help solve a range of global challenges, from the drive for sustainable development to the need for mobile health solutions.
GIX’s initial degree offering will be a 15-month Master of Science in Technology Innovation (pending approval), with an initial cohort of 30 to 35 students starting in fall 2016. New degree and certificate programs will be added over time in response to challenges and opportunities yet to be imagined. Private sector companies and nonprofits will actively participate, helping identify critical needs and providing mentors. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 3,000 learners will be part of GIX.

In addition to the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, GIX is being founded under a governance structure that will enable additional world-class research universities to join as equal partners in the future, according to a Microsoft press release and information on the two university websites. Additionally, GIX will contribute to the broader innovation ecosystem through partnerships with a select number of world-leading research and development organizations — both companies and nonprofit research institutions — with Microsoft being the first of several to support the new Institute in this capacity.

Greg Johnson, President of Wright Runstad & Company, noted that having GIX located in Bellevue’s Spring District in the Bell-Red corridor provides a great connection to multiple technology corridors in the greater Seattle area, and is just 10 miles from the UW campus. GIX will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility that will feature computing and design labs, a prototyping facility and collaboration and presentation spaces.

More information can be found at: www.washington.edu/gix

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