Foxconn Technology Group will invest $100 million to UW-Madison that will go toward establishing an interdisciplinary research facility for the College of Engineering, the largest research partnership in the university’s history.
The Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology, or FIRST, will collaborate closely with the company’s Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park near Racine.
Foxconn CEO Terry Gou joined UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank for the Monday announcement, signing several agreements formalizing their relationship.
The gift is one of the largest in the schools history, Blank said, and will help develop Wisconsin’s research and engineering talent.
“At Foxconn, we see our role as not only being a major investor in Wisconsin, but also a long-term partner to the community,” Gou said. “The Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology will provide funding on practical topics and capabilities in core areas that will become increasingly invaluable to the advanced technology hub, along with the artificial intelligence, 8K resolution and 5G wireless technology ecosystem that we are building in Wisconsin.”
With Foxconn’s lead gift of $100 million, UW-Madison plans to raise an additional $100 million as part of its $3.2 billion All Ways Forward campaign.
Last summer, the Taiwanese manufacturing company selected southeastern Wisconsin to house its $10 billion display screen factory that will employ up to 13,000 people. Public costs for the project could reach $4.5 billion.
In June, Foxconn broke ground on its Mount Pleasant facility during a ceremony in which President Donald Trump, who attended the ceremony, called the campus “the 8th Wonder of the World.”
Gov. Scott Walker, who also attended the ceremony, predicted Foxconn will transform Wisconsin similar to how Microsoft affected Washington state.
“This will make us a brain gain state, not a brain drain state,” Walker said at the June 28 event.
Also in June, UW-Milwaukee announced a study abroad internship program that will send engineering students to Taiwan for a semester to work in one of Foxconn’s Taiwanese facilities.