Lazaridis Wants Canada to Get Serious About Science & Technology

Mikey CEO of RIMMichael Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion Ltd. is pushing the federal government to chip in $100-million to help fund a scientific institute in Waterloo, Ont., a facility that is widely viewed as one of the pillars of that region’s technology sector.

Mr. Lazaridis, who donated a reported $100-million of his own money to the institute two years ago, said Canada missed its opportunity a few decades ago to be a key player in the “Silicon Valley revolution” and he wants to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“The issue is, who do we want to be in the future? he said in an interview.

The independent Perimeter Institute, which was founded six years ago, has received more than $77-million from the federal and Ontario governments, and $10-million each from Jim Balsillie, RIM’s chairman and co-CEO, and Doug Fregin, its vice-president of operations.

Michael Urlocker, CEO of Northern Technology &Telecom Research Inc., said the physics institute likely will spur top-level theoretical research and attract world-class scientists to the region and to the country. Mr. Lazaridis “deeply believes in this and I think it’s important,” he said.

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