Three Israeli-Chinese artificial intelligence technology centers are to be constructed in Haifa and in Hangzhou and Beijing in China with an initial investment of $10 million, according to an agreement signed March 20 in China by the University of Haifa, the Hangzhou Wahaha Group and the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Financed by Hangzhou Wahaha Group Chairman and CEO Zong Qinghou, the institutes will aimed to develop and industrialize cutting-edge application technologies from the University of Haifa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, including vision tracking through mobile devices, image processing and big data for medical applications, 3D image learning, chip technologies, biometric identification and much more.

The Hangzhou Wahaha Group is a group of private companies including the largest beverage producer in China. The agreement with University of Haifa is its first step in fostering academia and research, with construction of the institute set to be completed within the next two years.

The deal was inked while a delegation including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen and University of Haifa President Ron Robin was in China for a three-day trip to boost business ties between the countries and celebrate 25 years since Israel and China established diplomatic relations.

Prior to assuming the presidency of University of Haifa, Robin was responsible for establishing and running New York University’s campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.