The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Foxconn Technology Group will manage their new research partnership largely behind closed doors, according to documents laying out the agreement.
Foxconn and UW-Madison announced plans in August to establish a technology institute on campus as well as a research center in Mount Pleasant, where the Taiwanese electronics company is building a massive flat-screen manufacturing plant with the help of up to $3.2 billion worth of state incentives.
The deal also calls for Foxconn to provide as much as $100 million worth of matching grants to pay for engineering research at UW-Madison.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported on Thursday that it has obtained documents outlining the agreement between UW-Madison and Foxconn. The documents suggest the school and the company will establish a joint steering committee to oversee the partnership. UW-Madison officials told the newspaper the committee isn’t subject to the state’s open-meetings law unless members are holding university records.
Other clauses in the documents declare that broad swaths of information, including sales information, research plans, technical information, patent applications, designs and products, will all be confidential. If either party violates the confidentiality clauses, the other could obtain a restraining order.
Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said Wisconsin’s open-meetings and open-records laws don’t exempt research findings. Read the full story here.