RIM founder increases research donation to $50 million

05/02/05

WATERLOO, Ont. -- The University of Waterloo (UW) today announced receipt of another "magnificent" gift from Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis.

Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis have personally donated an additional $17.2 million (incremental to their $33.3 million donation last year).

The additional gift will fund three exciting and related initiatives: 75 per cent towards a shared new facility housing the university's Institute for Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology Engineering Program and the remaining 25 per cent towards an endowment to attract the very best foreign graduate students involved in quantum studies. Each student will receive a $20,000 scholarship from the endowment, and a President's Graduate Scholarship equivalent to full tuition, currently valued at $13,770.

Mike Lazaridis is the university's Chancellor and the Founder, President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM) (TSX: RIM; Nasdaq: RIMM).

"The University of Waterloo is once again blessed by our Chancellor's outstanding commitment to our university's mission," said UW President David Johnston. "This is a magnificent gift to the university and will be used for developing outstanding national programs, researchers and grad students in quantum computing and nanotechnology engineering."

Lazaridis said: "Ophelia and I are grateful to be in a position to contribute and we are proud to see this important research happening within our community and country. We believe accelerated research and education in Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology Engineering will change the technological landscape and benefit mankind for generations to come."

Bob Harding, outgoing Chair of UW board of governors, said: "Mike's generosity is without parallel and it ensures that the University of Waterloo will continue to be a major player in these critical areas of scientific exploration. We are very grateful for his vision and commitment, both for empowering Waterloo and its future plans, and for helping to ensure the nation's place among global leaders in fundamental research."

Plans for a new facility to house Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology Engineering research and teaching are already well underway. The new building will be situated in the centre of the university's campus.

Quantum computing is one of the most important new areas of technological research in the world. It involves harnessing the power of atoms and building quantum computers with transistors of atomic size.

Scientists believe this technology will aid many discoveries, including unbreakable cryptography, unparalleled high precision measurement devices, computers with mind boggling power and a better understanding of the microscopic world.

Nanotechnology engineers and scientists assemble, manipulate and control materials at the atomic and molecular scale to fabricate structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functionality. Applications include ultra-fast and high memory capacity computers, new materials of incredible strength and cell size probes for biomedical investigations.

The attraction of students of the highest quality to quantum research will give tremendous support to creativity and research output in this field of research, while also enhancing the capacity of the Canadian economy through the infusion of talent, new discoveries and potential commercial spin-offs.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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