Gov. Rauner meets with Party Secretary of Zhejiang University

Hangzhou, China (Sept. 17, 2017) – Gov. Bruce Rauner had the good fortune to meet with the Party Secretary of Zhejiang University.

The two discussed the successful University of Illinois and Zhejiang University collaboration on science and technology, engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, they discussed the need for increased partnership on life sciences and discussed ways to promote joint research and development.

“It is our great honor to host you and your delegation,” Party Secretary Zou Xiaodong said. “We look forward to strengthening our relationship between Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the areas of engineering, entrepreneurship, science, technology transfer and cultural exchange to improve our partnership in developing the next generation of global leaders”

The University of Illinois has been engaged with China for over 100 years. As of 2016, 5,600 Chinese undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in the University.

“Illinois ranks fifth in the nation in attracting Chinese students to its universities, generating $350 million for our state’s economy,” Gov. Rauner said. “We want to be the center where these students choose to learn and grow. But we also want Illinois’ students to have the opportunity to study in China to further strengthen our Sino-American relations.”

The governor concluded with his goal of developing an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship to create great minds and our next generation of global leaders.


Gov. Rauner urges stronger educational partnerships with China

Gov. Rauner believes great opportunities for Illinois-China relationship based on a win-win partnership

Hangzhou, China (Sept. 17, 2017) – Governor Bruce Rauner visited Zhejiang University, a globally ranked university and one of China’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious higher education institutions. He met with the University Party Secretary, Zou Xiaodong, and senior officials, toured the state-of-the-art campus and addressed the university’s international joint institution students. These students are enrolled in a program a that is collaboration between Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“There are great opportunities on the horizon for the Illinois-China relationship,” said Gov. Rauner. “One that is based on a mutual win-win partnership. An example is our recent partnership between Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois Chicago campus where we will begin to offer Engineering Curriculum based degrees in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Engineering here in China.”

The governor discussed his excitement for the program, and possibly expanding the partnership with more collaboration in regards to research and development. He finished by offering advice on starting a company.

“Be willing to take a risk, that’s the key to a better life,” Gov. Rauner said. “Persistence is key. You’ll have many setbacks, obstacles and barriers. Never give up.”

The governor thanked the University and added that he will continue to work with them to help find ways to connect the institutions to lay the foundation for world-class partnerships that bring together government, business and academia.


Gov. Rauner tours Wanxiang

University of Illinois signs MOU; partners with Wanxiang

Hangzhou, China (Sept. 17, 2017) – Gov. Bruce Rauner toured Wanxiang facilities in Hangzhou, China. The day started today with a memorandum of understanding signing which seeks to establish a Wanxiang Fellows Program at the University of Illinois that will send students and scientists from the universities belonging to the University of Illinois System to China to study Chinese cluture and to work on the development of sustainable green energy technologies. The program will be fully funded by the Wanxiang Group Corporation.

“Today the University of Illinois Systems is absolutely thrilled to be signing this memorandum of understanding with Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic,” Vice President of Economic Development for U of I Systems, Ed Seidel said. “This will provide a critical platform for academic exchange between our two institutions as well as providing a world class opportunity for our students.”

The governor and the delegation then traveled to see the first phase of Wanxiang’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship platform at its Silicon Lake facility.

The 16 new buildings will allow entrepreneurs access to the best technology in the world. Wanxiang executives say the goal is to rally talent from around the globe to learn with the latest technology.

“Since 2012, our growth has been mainly driven by innovation,” Wanxiang President and CEO Lu Weiding said. “Our goal is to continue to increase investment in Illinois especially in clean energy technology. Plus, we want to attract research institutions and technology innovation companies to come to Hangzhou and work with Wanxiang in innovation and entrepreneurship programs as part of the Wanxiang Innovation Energy Fusion City project.”

Wanxiang, which has its North American headquarters in Elgin, manufactures auto parts including suspension systems, bearings, break systems and transmissions. In fact, one of every two cars made since 2016 has an auto part built by Wanxiang, according to the CEO. The governor agreed with Mr. Lu that both Illinois and China build on their relationship and collaborate to expand their economies.

“I’m personally committed to helping Illinois grow and helping Wanxiang grow,” the governor said. “I am pushing for initiatives underway to help Illinois be more attractive to investors, making government more efficient with the use of new technology and continue to improve our education, innovation and training systems.”

The day commenced with dinner with Mr. Lu and senior Wanxiang executives.