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Chinese foundation donates $130 million to Israel’s Technion

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Chinese foundation donated $130 million to Israel’s Technion institute, the Israeli university’s largest-ever donation.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation on Sunday announced the donation to the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

Along with benefiting Technion students and researchers, the funds will be used to establish the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology in China, according to the Technion.

Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government also will contribute $147 million to fund construction and initial operations of the Technion Guangdong Institute, as well as provide land for the campus.

A memorandum of understanding between the universities was signed Sunday in Tel Aviv in the presence of Li Ka Shing Foundation and Hutchison Whampoa chairman Li Ka-shing. The agreement must be approved by the Technion  and Chinese authorities.

The Technion Guangdong Institute will begin offering undergraduate programs in civil and environmental engineering and computer sciences in the 2014 academic year.

“The establishment of an innovation center, connecting industries in Guangdong with Israel’s technological creativity, will bridge Israeli technology into China and promote joint research and innovation,” the institute and the foundation said in a joint statement, according to the Israeli business daily Globes.

Li’s private investment company, Horizon Ventures, invested in the navigation app Waze in 2011. Globes reported that Li’s profit from the sale of Waze to Google earlier this year was part of the donation to Technion.

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