U.S.-China tech institute adds University of British Columbia as academic partner

Another top international university is joining the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX).

University of British Columbia announced today that it will join GIX, a first-of-its-kind graduate technology school that opens in Bellevue, Wash. this month, as an academic network partner.

The University of Washington and Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) are the founding university partners of GIX, which also received $40 million from Microsoft, another founding partner.

Now GIX is teaming up with other universities around the world that want to get involved. More academic network partners, in addition to UBC, will be announced shortly.

U.S. News  & World Report ranked UBC second among global universities in Canada, and No. 31 among global universities worldwide. More than 50,000 students attend the Vancouver, BC-based public research university.

The addition of UBC to GIX is part of a larger announcement made today by leaders from Washington state and British Columbia to grow the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, a cross-border initiative to help create more economic opportunity in the region.

GIX is gearing up to welcome its first student cohort this fall, representing the culmination of close to five years of planning.

Students at GIX will be taught by teachers from both the UW and Tsinghua, and have the opportunity to spend time at each campus. The classes aim to break the mold for traditional technology education and train students in entrepreneurship, innovation, and user interfaces for connected devices. The idea is to encourage new ideas around real-world challenges by creating a project-based, global-focused learning environment.

GIX is hosting an Innovation Summit later this week in Bellevue to celebrate the launch.