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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Foxconn inks research deal with U of Cincinnati, launches AI company in Silicon Valley

By David Schwartz
Published: July 10th, 2018

Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics giant that makes tens of millions of Apple iPhones and iPads, appears to be making a move into the U.S. that at least one university is already capitalizing on. The University of Cincinnati Foxconn signed a research partnership agreement, just days before the company announced plans to launch an artificial intelligence company based in Silicon Valley – a move being assisted by UConn College of Engineering & Applied Science professor Jay Lee.

“Why UC? Because UC has a strong legacy of co-op programming,” Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said.

The collaboration with UConn will focus on new areas like internet-of-things and industrial artificial intelligence. “I think this is only the beginning. We’ll explore many other opportunities by engaging UC strength and Foxconn strength together, and create not just research education, but also a great accelerated innovation program,” Lee said.

He also express confidence that the research partnership will lead to a new process that speeds up the transfer of knowledge from the classroom to the factory, and help make Cincinnati a bigger player on the research stage.

Plans for the new company in Silicon Valley, Industrial AI System, were unveiled at an event last week at Stanford University. “The Bay Area has been a high-tech innovation hub. It is the home to the best AI and data science talent in America,” Gou said at the event.

Go said Foxconn, which employs more than 1 million people worldwide, will also invest in Silicon Valley start-ups and offer local scholarships to students. Meanwhile, the company is building a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin. Nearly all of its manufacturing has been based in Taiwan until now, but rising factory wages and a leveling off in smartphone sales have forced the company to invest in automation and AI to improve efficiency.

Last month, Foxconn spun off its industrial Internet solutions business, Foxconn Industrial Internet, raising more than $4 billion in its IPO, and netting a valuation of around $61 billion.

Sources: WCPO and Silicon Valley Business Journal

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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