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GEN News Highlights : May 21, 2014

Tel Aviv, Tsinghua Universities Establish $300M Research Center

Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Beijing's Tsinghua University have inaugurated a new research center, dubbed the XIN Center, dedicated to training scientific innovators ("XIN Fellows") from both Israel and China and focused on areas including nanotechnology, renewable energy, and biotech. The two universities plan to invest $300 million jointly into the XIN Center over the next five years.

The seeds for the XIN Center were planted back in September, when TAU president Joseph Klafter, Ph.D., and Tsinghua University president Chen Jining, Ph.D., signed an MOU in Beijing to establish a joint center of excellence named XIN ("new" in Chinese). The main complex of the XIN center will be on the Tsinghua University campus; a smaller sister facility at Tel-Aviv University wil also be established. Research at XIN will initially focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology. 

TAU and Tsinghua, along with the MOU, also announced in September plans to establish a 100 million yuan (around $16 million) investment fund to seed ventures initiated by XIN Fellows. This fund, they said, will be set up by Infinity Group, and investors will include Tsinghua alumni and the Beijing government.

The two universities hope XIN, in addition to nurturing creativity among students and researchers and expanding cooperation between academia and the industry, will enhance the Chinese-Israeli contribution to scientific and technological progress worldwide and also create an international hub for innovation.

At XIN's inauguration ceremony, Dr. Klafter noted that XIN is the largest joint research and teaching project to be established between Israel and China. "In founding the XIN Center, we are building an interconnected future, one full of infinite possibilities and that is firmly anchored in shared values," he added.