Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis donations top $101 million to Institute for Quantum Computing

    WATERLOO, ON, June 5 /CNW/ - Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis are joining a
select group of Canadians who have given more than $100 million in support to
post-secondary education and research.
    The University of Waterloo is today announcing that the pair are donating
an additional $25 million to the Institute for Quantum Computing. The new gift
raises their total donation to IQC to $101 million.
    "This extraordinarily generous gift reflects Mike and Ophelia's passion
for fundamental research and it gives increased exposure to quantum computing
around the world," said Waterloo president David Johnston. "Their generosity
has helped launch IQC into the forefront of quantum information processing
research, making Waterloo one of the world's premier destinations in the
    Previously, Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis gave $76 million to support the
development of the IQC, including a major share for construction of the
Quantum-Nano Centre, a distinguished research chair in quantum computing, and
international graduate fellowships. This gift was key in obtaining $100
million, $50 million each from the federal government and the Ontario
government, toward the $160-million Quantum-Nano Centre and the IQC.
    "We are excited to add support to what is becoming the epicentre of
quantum research and experimentation," said Mike Lazaridis. "Our investment in
fundamental research at the Institute of Quantum Computing will help
researchers tackle some of today's most challenging problems and seed some of
tomorrow's biggest innovations."
    Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis are part of a select group of philanthropists
who have given more than $100 million in support of higher education in
    The Quantum-Nano Centre will be home to two forefront areas of science
and engineering: quantum information technology and nanotechnology. Quantum
deals with the atomic and sub-atomic levels, where the usual laws of physics
do not apply; things can, for instance, exist in two places at the same time.
Nanotechnology deals with the fabrication and behaviour of materials, devices
and systems in the size range of atoms or molecules, generally 100 nanometres
or smaller.
    Besides the IQC, the centre will accommodate the Waterloo Institute for
Nanotechnology and Waterloo's undergraduate program in nanotechnology
engineering. It will serve the needs of up to 400 academics, equally split
between the quantum and nano sides, with most coming from the faculties of
engineering, mathematics and science.
    Mike Lazaridis, who served as Waterloo's chancellor from May 1, 2003 to
April 30, 2009, will be installed as chancellor emeritus on Saturday, June 13
during spring convocation. He has also been a dedicated employer of thousands
of the university's co-op students and graduates since he founded Research In
Motion 25 years ago.
    Ophelia Lazaridis is a member of the university's board of governors. She
holds a bachelor of mathematics from Waterloo.

For further information:

For further information: Contacts: Linda Kieswetter, associate vice
president, principal gifts and campaign, UW office of development, (519)
888-4567 ext. 32961; Steve MacDonald, chief operating officer, Institute for
Quantum Computing, (519) 888-4567 ext. 36704; John Morris, UW media relations,
(519) 888-4435 or jmorris@uwaterloo.ca

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