The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is a partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University in China, with foundational support from Microsoft. It is designed to bring universities and industry together to work on real-world challenges in a project-based, globally focused learning environment.
GIX pioneers new forms of teaching and learning by directly connecting world-class students with faculty from the United States, China, and other global research universities and research-led companies and nonprofits. These partners help identify real-world challenges and provide ongoing mentoring and support to a global student cohort, driving solutions from idea to impact.
Embedded in the GIX curriculum are five principles:
- Entrepreneurial thinking
- Design thinking
- Just-in-time learning
- Interdisciplinary education
GIX opened in the fall of 2016 with a 21-month dual degree that combines a Master of Engineering in Data Science and Information Technology at Tsinghua University in China with the Master of Science in Technology Innovation at the UW. A 15-month MSTI degree launched in the fall of 2017.
GIX is housed in a new, three-story facility in Bellevue’s Spring District, a $2.3 billion, 36-acre mixed-use development east of downtown in the Bel-Red Corridor.
The heart of the building is the MakerSpace, with the equipment students need to turn their ideas into prototypes. Students move in and out of the MakerSpace to studios for design ideation, work spaces for team collaboration, and huddle spaces for smaller meetings. Connected classrooms allow students to learn from experts on-site and from around the globe, and the building’s event space hosts pitches and talks and provides space to relax, network and socialize.
In the coming months and years, the Spring District will be adding office buildings, retail space, a brewpub, apartments, parks and ultimately a light-rail station.
University of Washington
Driven by a determination to transform our world, the University of Washington seeks solutions to today’s global challenges, from autism and Ebola to poverty and environmental sustainability. One of the world’s leading public research universities, the UW’s engaged community of students and faculty are united by a steadfast belief in what’s possible.
With multiple campuses in the Seattle region, the University of Washington is consistently rated one of the top universities in the United States and the world. It ranked 11th in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking of best global universities, and it boasts top-ranked programs in computer science, education, medicine, public affairs and more.
At the UW, innovation is an imperative. The University of Washington was recognized as one of the world's most innovative universities by Reuters. The UW ranks among the top universities for technology start-ups, with 20 new companies launched in 2015.
Advancing a tradition of academic excellence, Tsinghua University is a pacesetter for innovation in China. A leading world university, Tsinghua excels in its fundamental task of high-level training and research, and serves as an indispensable base for China’s scientific and technological innovation. Situated in northwestern Beijing, it is among the most selective universities in the Asia-Pacific region, and a trusted global partner for researchers and academics.
Among its alumni are many leaders in various fields. They have made outstanding contributions to China’s technology development, economic growth and social progress. They also offer new perspectives and insights on the world’s biggest challenges.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft has an enduring commitment to serve globally the needs of communities and fulfill its responsibilities to the public. As the company has grown, this commitment has extended far beyond its own products and services and has been amplified many times over through its network of partners, including governments, nonprofits and other organizations.
About Seattle and the Pacific Northwest
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most spectacular and diverse regions in the United States. With its clean air and water and plentiful mountains, lakes, rivers and forests, Seattle is a marvelous place to visit and to call home.
The Seattle area offers something for everyone, from the buzz of the city to the calm of the outdoors. Cultural attractions include world-class museums, an aquarium, a zoo, professional and college sports, a symphony and large annual film and music festivals. You will also find excellent running, biking, hiking, camping, boating and skiing in the city and nearby.
For working professionals in the Seattle area, opportunities abound. Some of the world's top companies and institutions were started here and continue to have major operations in the region, including Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, REI, PATH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The city also has a strong start-up business and technology culture.