Gale International and Microsoft Learning Join Forces on "Educational Excellence" Effort in South Korea

2008-01-16 05:13 858

New York's Gale International and Microsoft Unit to Establish Paradigm for Technology Education In Songdo International Business District

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --

Gale International today announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Microsoft Learning, a product group of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), to further Songdo International Business District as an example of best practices in technology education and implementation. To underscore its commitment to this initiative, Gale International will fund translation of Microsoft's extensive Digital Literacy curriculum into Korean, thus making it available to the full breadth of the Korean workforce for the first time.

The 1,500-acre Songdo International Business District (IBD) is the largest private real estate development in history. Located on the coast of Incheon and connected directly to the Incheon International Airport, Songdo IBD is Korea's new front door. The city is a 70/30 joint venture between Gale International and POSCO E&C, a subsidiary of Korean steel giant POSCO.

Gale International and Microsoft Learning are collaborating on the "Educational Excellence in Technology Initiative" to link students, parents, educators, academic institutions, local industry, and government partners in a shared vision of how students and workers can reach their potential through technology skills training in a global context. Specifically, the agreement outlines the integration of the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum and Microsoft IT Academy into the Songdo International School, Asia's newest and most modern private preparatory school, where it will be available both in the school curriculum and in after-hours adult education for local citizens. The alliance extends to the Gale International U-Life Institute of Technology, which is focused on technology skills training for workers in a global economy. Perhaps most importantly the agreement can be seen as an important first step in a broadening relationship between Microsoft and Gale International in relation to the Songdo IBD project and beyond.

The Songdo International School, slated to open September, 2009, will serve 2,500 students in grades K through 12. The curriculum will be run by International School Services (ISS), the world's leader in providing a comprehensive range of quality educational services for schools, educators, families and corporations.

The Gale International U-Life Institute of Technology will feature technologies used in the creation and operation of the Songdo IBD itself, preparing workers not only for high-level employment within the city but also to meet the challenges of the global workforce. Multinational corporations such as United Technologies Corporation plan to utilize Songdo IBD as a test-bed for their most innovative services and technologies. U-Life, Songdo IBD's ubiquitous computing division, will offer a wide array of life enhancing digital services to Songdo's businesses and residents.

Microsoft joins an already extensive list of best-in-class multinational corporations selected by Gale International to act as strategic partners for Songdo IBD including Morgan Stanley, United Technologies, ISS, and Taubman Centers, Inc., among others. The current contractual agreement is welcomed by both Gale International and Microsoft as an initial step in the companies' burgeoning alliance.

Jim Dilanni, Director, Academic Programs, Microsoft Learning, said, "Microsoft Digital Literacy provides essential computing concepts and skills that enable students to use computer technology in everyday life to develop social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. We are so pleased that Gale International is taking the lead and funding the localization of the curriculum in Korean."

Stanley C. Gale, Chairman and Partner of Gale International, said, "The objective of the initiative is to provide students of all ages with the relevant knowledge and skills to expand life experience, enhance employment opportunities, and enable social innovations as citizens of a global economy. This effort will serve as a paradigm for other institutions around the world. As our newly announced relationship with Microsoft indicates, we expect to continue to attract the highest quality partners for Songdo, and we welcome the opportunity to further deepen our strategic alliance with Microsoft."

John B. Hynes, III, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Gale International, said, "We believe this partnership with Microsoft Learning is further evidence of how Songdo IBD can contribute to the economic competitiveness of Korea."

Songdo IBD, "The Gateway to Northeast Asia," is the first new city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. This 100-million square foot, master-planned metropolis will be connected to the Incheon International Airport, one of the world's busiest, by a new 7.4 mile highway bridge; and linked by subway to Seoul. It is estimated that when fully completed in 2015 Songdo IBD will be home to 65,000 people and that 300,000 will work there. Songdo IBD is located within the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

Songdo IBD will offer every conceivable amenity including a world class hospital, an international preparatory school, museums, a 100-acre Central Park, and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. Songdo IBD will be 40 percent green space, and long-term sustainability and the minimization of the city's carbon footprint have been considered in every design and engineering decision. Indeed, Songdo IBD was recently named a "green urbanism" pilot project by the U.S. Green Building Council. More information can be found at

Gale International is a premier international real estate investment and development company with headquarters in New York and offices in Boston; Irvine, California; Seoul and New Songdo, South Korea.

Source: Gale International
Keywords: Real Estate