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Chinese businessman donates $10 million to UC Riverside

January 24, 2011 | 11:22 am

The Chinese entrepreneur who last week struck a deal with a Riverside RV company to build and export $5 billion worth of RVs to China has announced an agreement to donate $10 million to UC Riverside, the largest gift in school history.

The entrepreneur, Winston Chung, and UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White are expected on Monday to sign an agreement on the gift to the Bourns College of Engineering, which would be completed by year’s end.

Chung is the founder of Winston Global Energy Ltd., which produces batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. The gift is to fund research related to clean battery power, solar energy and sustainable transportation, according to the university.

“His investment in this university will result in generations of students and faculty sharing their knowledge with local and global communities, and in new materials and new energy sources for an energy-hungry world,” said White in a statement.

A building within the college of engineering will be renamed as Winston Chung Hall, and two professorships and a research center will be established in his name.

The research center, called the Winston Chung Global Energy Center, will focus on “life source rare earth lithium batteries,” a technology invented by Chung, bio-inspired technology and the development of clean energy and energy storage, the university said.

The partnership is a tremendous opportunity for engineering students and is perfectly aligned with the college’s research initiatives, said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. “Mr. Chung has created a clean and efficient energy storage that is an expression of a sustainable future,” he said in a statement.

Chung last year became the majority owner of Riverside-based MVP RV Inc., the same company he invested in last week to build 30,000 diesel-powered RVs to export to China. The company has about 150 employees and expects to hire about 1,200 new workers.

MVP RV hopes to begin soon manufacturing the 10,000 tour-bus style and 20,000 smaller recreational vehicles. They would be exported over the next three to four years.


Riverside firm to make motor homes for Chinese market

 -- Stephen Ceasar