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$50M supports quantum computing and nanotechnology engineering research


Waterloo, ON – Ontario’s University of Waterloo says it has received another “magnificent” gift from Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis. The couple has donated $17.2 million in addition to a $33.3-million donation last year.

The additional gift will fund three initiatives related to their initial donation: 75% will go toward a shared new facility housing the university’s Institute for Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology Engineering Program and the remaining 25% will fund 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).

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 an important new area of technological research, and involves harnessing the power of atoms and building quantum computers with transistors of atomic size. The technology is expected to aid many discoveries, including unbreakable cryptography, unparalleled high-precision measurement devices, ultra-fast and high memory capacity computers, new materials of great strength and cell-size probes for biomedical investigations.