Lazaridis increases commitment to Perimeter

Guest Contributor
June 5, 2008

Mike Lazaridis has boosted his personal support for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) to $150 million with a new $50-million donation to the Waterloo ON-based research institution. The latest donation from the president and co-CEO of Research in Motion closely follows the appointment of Dr Neil Turok as PI’s new executive director (R$ May 20/08).

The donation appears to honour a commitment made when the Ontario government pledged $50 million in support in 2006 (R$, April 14/06). When the federal government followed suit with a matching amount in 2007, the Lazaridis donation was still not officially announced. Calls to the PI for clarification were not returned by press deadline.

Private donations to the PI — estimated to exceed $200 million — are being placed in an endowment while public support is used for operations.

To date, the Ontario government has provided PI with $65 million. The federal government’s latest $50 million in support — announced in the 2007 Budget — brings its total to $75 million.

The infusion of cash into the PI comes at a time when other governments are slashing support for physics research. Recent UK reports quote Turok as saying the lack of support from the British government was a key motivating factor in his decision to apply for the top job at PI (see page 6).


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