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FOXCONN | $100M RESEARCH CENTER

UW-Madison not expecting to receive $100 million gift Foxconn pledged, chancellor says

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Foxconn Globe ribbon cutting May 17

Dignitaries — including Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot, far right, and Brand Cheng, CEO and board member of Foxconn Industrial Internet, third from right — in front of Foxconn's 100-foot-tall High-Performance Computing Data Center Globe during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 17 in Mount Pleasant.

UW-Madison isn’t expecting Foxconn Technology Group to honor a $100 million pledge made to the university nearly three years ago, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said this month.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has reached a scaled-down deal with Foxconn -- one that will cut tax breaks by billions. 

Billed as the biggest research partnership in UW-Madison history back in August 2018, Foxconn has fallen far short of what it said it would give to help fund a new UW-Madison engineering building and company-related research.

A UW-Madison response to a public records request by the Wisconsin State Journal on Monday shows the Taiwanese electronics company gave $700,000 in the first year of a five-year agreement and no money in the second or third year. The amount to date represents less than 1% of the original commitment.

“I am not at this point expecting to receive that gift,” Blank said in an interview with the State Journal editorial board last week. “It’d be nice. I think it’s unlikely.”

Foxconn had “a lot of issues that were not well anticipated,” Blank said, such as the trade war between the U.S. and China and other problems taking place in markets where Foxconn operated. These obstacles affected the company’s investment in Wisconsin, she said.

“We continue to work with Foxconn as we do (with) any number of other companies, looking to connect them to various resources on campus, and some of those go forward and some of them don’t,” Charles Hoslet, a vice chancellor who oversees the university’s partnerships with corporations, said in the interview with Blank.

The master agreement signed by UW-Madison and Foxconn three years ago this month didn’t specify the $100 million figure that was announced at the 2018 university event and parroted in press coverage. The agreement broadly states that the company “intends to make a substantial investment in research and other activities” with the university.

Robert Schlaeger, the special assistant to the director of U.S. strategic initiatives at Foxconn, declined in a phone call Monday to say whether Foxconn would provide UW-Madison with the $100 million the company had promised. He directed the State Journal to send an email with questions to the company’s communications representative. Foxconn did not provide answers in time for this story.

Despite the vast majority of the UW-Madison donation failing to come through, Foxconn has developed a student pipeline on campus by recruiting students at career fairs for jobs and internships.

UW-Milwaukee has an international co-op program that sends some of its engineering students to Taiwan to study language and culture at a local university and work at a Foxconn facility.

A dozen students participated in the Foxconn international co-op in 2019, UW-Milwaukee spokesperson Laura Otto said. Eleven students were accepted to the program in 2020, but the pandemic pushed their classes online and students worked remotely with employees at the Mount Pleasant facility.

Neither UW-Madison nor UW-Milwaukee collects data on the number of students who intern for or are hired by Foxconn. The company didn’t offer any numbers.

In a similar move to UW-Madison, the University of Illinois partnered with Foxconn, though its 2019 agreement with a company subsidiary includes a payment schedule for $50 million spread over 10 years. The money will go toward a technology center to be housed in the Grainger College of Engineering on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

College of Engineering spokesperson Libby Kacich confirmed Monday that the university has received what is outlined in the agreement so far — $1.25 million per calendar quarter, or $8.75 million to date.

Keep up with the latest news on Foxconn in Wisconsin

Read more news coverage of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn's decision to build a massive plant in Wisconsin.

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Foxconn Technology Group has challenged the state's decision earlier this month to refuse the Taiwan-based company's application for state tax subsidies for work taking place on the southeast Wisconsin facility.

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A bombshell report from The Verge provides a harsh look into the embattled Foxconn Technology Group project in southeast Wisconsin, which has — so far — failed to live up to promises made by the company nearly three years ago.

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As Wisconsin — much like the rest of the nation — continues to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced businesses to shutter and unemployment rates to skyrocket, Trump entered a community all too familiar with economic hardship.

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WEDC Secretary Melissa Hughes said "Foxconn’s activities and investments in Wisconsin to date are not eligible for credit" under the contract first signed back in 2017.

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President Donald Trump's top trade advisor Peter Navarro praised Wisconsin's controversial Foxconn manufacturing project, despite lingering questions surrounding the Taiwan-based company's contract for billions in state tax credits.

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The company's $3 billion contract with Wisconsin remains in question after state officials in December told Foxconn it no longer was eligible for tax subsidies agreed to in the original contract because the project has changed too much.

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Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn could use its Wisconsin factory to build ventilators needed to treat COVID-19 patients, according to the CEO of a medical hardware company that designs and makes ventilators.

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Gov. Tony Evers' administration has told Foxconn it no longer is eligible for tax subsidies agreed to in the original $3.6 billion deal with Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer.

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There is no proof to suggest the Taiwan-based electronics giant has moved employees into the Capitol Square building it purchased from BMO Harris Bank for $9.5 million earlier this year. 

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The announcement comes a few weeks after UW-Madison reported receiving less than 1% of a $100 million commitment Foxconn made in August 2018.

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Foxconn's partnerships with UW campuses have seen mixed success so far, with a UW-Milwaukee program drawing more student participation than announced, but developments appearing to progress slowly at UW-Madison.

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Taiwan's main opposition party picked a pro-China populist mayor Monday as its candidate for the 2020 presidential race against an incumbent who often bashes Beijing.

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Gov. Tony Evers told CNBC during a June 27 interview posted online Tuesday that he believes the plant will have about 1,500 employees in place when production begins in May 2020.

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The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer announced in mid-April the pending purchase of the property, which is at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and will be renamed "Foxconn Place Madison."

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The meeting comes a day after Gou met with President Donald Trump to discuss updates to the southeast Wisconsin manufacturing project.

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CEO Mark Hogan also declined to say if Foxconn officials first approached the state about reopening its deal.

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Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Thursday slammed the governor as "naive" and said it is highly unlikely the board of the WEDC would approve a change to the contract. 

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“The present contract deals with a situation that no longer exists," Evers said. 

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Terry Gou said he would make a decision "in a day or two" on a possible presidential bid, according to Taiwan's official Central News Agency.

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Foxconn made the announcement Friday morning at Monona Terrace. Representatives from BMO Financial Group and UW-Madison were also in attendance.

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A company statement said this marks the next phase of Foxconn's overall blueprint for its campus in Mount Pleasant. 

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Foxconn representatives did not answer a list of questions related to their partnership with Wisconsin’s flagship university.

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"If they can’t work with the university to get the development talent that they need, they can no longer operate and then the entirety of the deal could fall through," a Foxhounds member said. 

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The company is possibly interested in space at 1 W. Main St., which is currently owned by BMO Harris Bank.

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Bloomberg Businessweek interviewed 49 people familiar with the project, including company executives and former employees of the Racine County facility.

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Evers told reporters he discussed the topic with Foxconn officials but doesn't believe the company is concerned.

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Foxconn Technology Group reversed itself Friday saying it will construct a liquid-crystal-display manufacturing facility in southeast Wisconsin after President Donald Trump intervened amid news reports that put the future of the project in doubt.

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Nikkei Asian Review Thursday reported the Taiwanese iPhone assembler's "$10 billion investment in display production in the state of Wisconsin has been suspended and scaled back as a result of negotiations with new Gov. Tony Evers." 

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The future of Foxconn Technology Group’s $10 billion high-tech manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin was cast into uncertainty Wednesday…

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The figure falls short of the minimum 260 full-time jobs required under the state's contract with the company, meaning it will not receive any tax incentives this year.

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Evers, who has touted his support for a $15 minimum wage in Wisconsin, also said he's open to creating exceptions to a $15 wage in rural areas and for teenage workers.

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Foxconn Technology Group intends to invest $100 million in engineering and innovation research at UW-Madison that will help fund an interdisci…

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His visit comes as he criticizes Harley-Davidson's decision to move some production overseas and as Foxconn scales back the initial size of its facility.

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Foxconn says it's committed to spending $10 billion and creating up to 13,000 jobs.

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Gov. Scott Walker says the funds can be absorbed in the existing budget from savings on other projects.

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Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has agreed to back 25 percent of the tax credits deal should the company default on deal.

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The state would no longer regulate wetlands or air pollutants except when required under federal law.

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Gov. Scott Walker has signed a $3 billion incentive package designed to lure a Foxconn Technology Group flat-screen plant to southeastern Wisconsin.

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It would be the largest ever subsidy by a U.S. state to a foreign company.

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Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou signed the agreement on July 12. 

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Health care and education advocates and some Democrats are concerned how state incentives for Foxconn could affect the state budget.

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The electronics giant would build TVs and other devices here using imported LCD panels until its Wisconsin LCD plant opened in about 2020.

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The package of refundable tax credits and environmental regulation rollbacks now heads to the state Senate. 

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A liberal campaign watchdog group also is considering filing a complaint alleging Foxconn violated state lobbying rules. 

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Taxpayers will spend $1 billion more than the state receives in tax revenues for the first 15 years of the project, a state estimate shows. 

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Lawmakers will hear public testimony Thursday on a bill that gives Foxconn $3 billion in incentives. 

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Wisconsin taxpayers could be cutting checks to electronics manufacturer Foxconn sooner than 2020 if the company starts hiring scores of employees this year, the state jobs agency chief told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday.

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Gov. Scott Walker wants to exempt the firm from laws designed to prevent environmental damage, flooding and harm to drinking water.

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Last week's Foxconn news was the rare announcement that won plaudits from both parties at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

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The legislation also provides $250 million in bonding for the rebuilding and expansion of I-94.

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For every ten jobs created at a massive electronics manufacturing campus planned to be built by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn in southeastern Wisconsin, 17 more jobs will be created elsewhere in the state, an analysis shows.

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Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday assured critics of his deal with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn that the massive bundle of taxpayer-funded incentives Wisconsin has offered the company to build here will be tied to job creation.

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The plant will create liquid-crystal display panels and could eventually employ as many as 13,000 people.

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Foxconn CEO and founder Terry Gou and Pres. Donald Trump were joined by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Vice Pres…

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Dane County and much of Wisconsin could get a transformative economic boost if Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn brings thousands of manufac…

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The package would not be included in the next state budget, a top lawmaker says.

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The Wisconsin Senate’s top Republican said Thursday that the Legislature may have to pass a bill to help induce a Taiwanese technology company to bring a plant to Wisconsin.

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Assembly GOP leaders, in a memo made public Wednesday, also urge business groups to offer their own ideas to resolve the state budget impasse.

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