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And it’s Bellevue!

The Global Innovation Exchange, or GIX, has established for the first time a Chinese research university’s physical presence in the United States. This new graduate Institute in Bellevue, run by the University of Washington and Tsinghua University in China is designed to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.GIX to Establish a Physical Presence in the U.S.

Located in the new Spring District of Bellevue, the building will feature one of the largest and most advanced “maker spaces” in the region. Funded by a $40 million Microsoft donation, the founders expect new students to tackle some of the worlds most urgent problems. These include issues with health care and climate change. Gov. Jay Ensley and former governors Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke, as well as dozens of other educational officials from China, celebrated the buildings opening 2 years after it was first announced.

The Institute and construction are designed around the curriculum featuring large rooms filled with industry caliber laser cutters, 3-D printers, and machines that can rapidly create printed circuit boards. This space will allow students to quickly spin out prototypes of new devices and broaden their imagination to create items and things no one has thought of yet.

Institutions and higher education facilities tend to move at a snail’s pace of this is actually one of the fastest realizations of a project in this sector. Just over the last couple of weeks, 43 students have started taking classes in the Master’s program. These classes are hands-on and project-based and many of the students are from China.

The students were selected for the program because of their exceptional ability a problem-solving a team-oriented approach to projects. The Master’s curriculum is a 15-month program costing $54,000 or $77,000 for the 21-month program, which includes 2 degrees, one from the UW and one from Tsinghua.

The GIX is one of the first buildings completed in Bellevue’s Spring District. Because this is a work in progress, construction will continue to grow and eventually, the Eastside light rail line will run through the development and on to Redmond.

Tsignhua is just one of the many partner universities that the UW have added to this program. Others include the University of British Columbia and five companies partnering alongside Microsoft for financial and instructional support. Over the next 10 years, UW expects nearly 3000 students will go through the Master’s program in this facility.