Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Foxconn Hasn’t Given 99% of UW Pledge

Company promised $100 million to UW-Madison, has given $700,000.

By - Aug 17th, 2020 12:51 pm
Foxconn's North American. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Foxconn’s North American. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

It was back in August 2018 that Foxconn announced it would donate $100 million to UW-Madison to fund “engineering and innovation research” at the university “while also creating the framework for a science and technology institute that will collaborate closely with the company’s facilities in southeast Wisconsin.”

Two months later, in October 2018, Foxconn held a two-day event at UW-Madison, where students, faculty and staff, and alumni, along with members of the public were invited to a showcase of “some of Foxconn’s cutting-edge global technology and innovations” with Foxconn staff on site “to share more details about the Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology” to be created with the university.

This was just one month before the election for Wisconsin’s governor, and Gov. Scott Walker had made the Foxconn deal a big part of his reelection effort. Foxconn unveiled a series of splashy ventures across the state to make clear the deal would have benefits not just in Racine County. There would be innovation centers created in Milwaukee, Eau Claire and Green Bay, there was a talent recruiting day at UW-Milwaukee and a pledge to hire 3,000 military veterans at Foxconn plants.

But none of those many announcements were enough to win Walker’s reelection and today it’s still not clear what exactly is being manufactured at the plant in Racine, and none of those innovation centers in other cities have been created. As for the $100 million pledged to UW-Madison two years ago, the university has received less than one percent of that.

“A $700,000 sponsored research project in the College of Engineering represents Foxconn’s investment at the university, to date,” UW-Madison spokesperson John Lucas tells Urban Milwaukee.

“Although Foxconn is in the best position to explain its plans, the university understands that changes in the firm’s executive leadership, business goals and impact of the pandemic have resulted in shifting priorities,” Lucas adds. “The university will continue to engage in discussions with corporations, including Foxconn, interested in sponsored research or other educational partnerships.”

Foxconn did not respond to a request for comment from Urban Milwaukee. Nor did the company respond to the Associated Press, which was the first to report on the company’s failure to provide the promised funding.


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2 thoughts on “Back in the News: Foxconn Hasn’t Given 99% of UW Pledge”

  1. says:

    The legacy of smoke and mirrors from our former Gov. Walker and Foxconn. What a mistake Wisconsin was pressured into!

  2. George Wagner says:

    Time to ask Scott Walker to comment on Foxconn’s broken promises.

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