What is GIX?

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is a global partnership between major research universities and innovative corporations to develop leaders in innovation. The first two academic partners are Tsinghua University and the University of Washington, with early support from Microsoft.

Mission and Vision

GIX develops leaders, stimulates innovation in the workforce, and helps solve technological and design challenges. It seeks to build global capacity to tackle complex problems and serve multiple markets.  Graduates will have the technical and design thinking skills and business confidence to drive solutions from idea to impact.

Global Challenges

GIX extends far beyond the walls of its Seattle-area facilities, attracting participants and encouraging collaboration unlimited by geography or discipline. Through project-based learning, students, researchers and industry professionals will create solutions to pressing global challenges such as health, sustainability and social innovation.


Human civilization requires resources to sustain our modern way of life. From renewable energy, to environmental protection, to clean water and more, GIX seeks ways to mitigate our impact on the environment.


According to the WHO, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. GIX asks, how can we reach the highest level of health for all people?


Social Equity is a cooperative approach to focusing on new work, bridging resources research institutions, companies, or other organizations. GIX focuses on new forms of collaboration.

GIX Partnerships

GIX builds on the strengths of its partners. It will be directed by leaders from partner institutions, and courses will be co-created and taught by experts from academia and industry. The first academic partners are the University of Washington and Tsinghua University.

The UW is deeply and intrinsically connected to the Seattle region’s innovation ecosystem and enjoys a tradition of global engagement. Tsinghua is an innovation pacesetter and a base for scientific and technological advances in China. GIX makes Tsinghua the first Chinese university with a physical presence on U.S. soil.

Microsoft, the founding industry partner, provided $40 million in early funding and is committed to GIX’s long-term growth and success. This reflects Microsoft’s broader commitment to STEM education around the world, and to the growth and success of the greater Seattle region.

A select number of world-class university, corporate and non-profit partners are expected to join in the near future, allowing GIX to fully embody the global nature of education and innovation today.

Get Involved

Consortium members enjoy a special connection with GIX that fosters long-term relationships, leading to technical exchange, co-invention, collaboration and interaction with faculty and students.

Get Involved