UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Foxconn founder and chair Terry Gou announced the partnership in Madison today. The UW is setting a fundraising goal of raising an additional 100 million dollars to match Foxconn’s gift.
Blank says this is one of the biggest donations in the campus’ history.
“This is an historic moment, not only for UW-Madison and Foxconn, but I hope for the entire state of Wisconsin,” Blank says.
With the money, UW-Madison and Foxconn will open an interdisciplinary research facility called the Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology — or FIRST.
The new institute will be near Foxconn’s factory in Mount Pleasant. Foxconn also says that some of the 100 million dollars will go toward replacing the engineering building on campus.
Gou says FIRST will host research not only in material sciences, but in medical and computer science, as well as other fields.
He says potential student research topics will be semiconductors, infrastructure and robotics — along with more medical topics like medical imaging, genomics and immune cell research.
“From healthcare to computer science, to biotech to electronic engineering, from business administration to education, UW-Madison is a leader and will be a great partner,” Gou says
UW’s fundraising goals are part of their larger 3.2 billion dollar All Ways Forward fundraising effort.
The state has promised around three billion dollars to Foxconn in exchange for the 13 thousand jobs the corporation says their new facility will create.
Blank says she hopes the partnership will help prepare students for jobs at Foxconn and other tech companies.
“I’m very touched by the gen of chairman Gou and Foxconn and very excited about the opportunities that this gift is going to open up for our faculty, our students and for the state of Wisconsin,” Blank says.
The Foxconn project has come under fire from many Democrats who say the around 3 billion dollar incentives package from the state is too much. Others have criticized lax environmental regulations for the company, including an exception for filling in protected wetlands.