The end of the Quantum to Cosmos Festival marks the beginning of preparations for the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI), an international science conference expected to take place in Waterloo Region in spring, 2011.
The global gathering will see international researchers, business leaders and public policy decision-makers help identify actions in the science and technology arena that must be taken in order to seize opportunities in the decades ahead and monitor progress against those actions.
The WGSI will focus on the role that science and technology can play in addressing the world’s most fundamental social, environmental and economic challenges. The conference will provide leading thinkers with a forum in which to view the long term and identify clear actions. Areas of provincial, national and global concern may include energy, quantum information and water resources.
WGSI will operate as a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. A Board, Advisory Council and Scientific Advisory Committee will be drawn from a variety of organizations, including universities across the province.
“Ontario understands the value of world-class science to the future of our economy, our environment and our society as a whole,” says John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation. “The WGSI will bring the world to our doorstep and shine a light on the important work of Ontario as a global thought leader, a global policy leader and unequivocal champion for innovation as the key driver for prosperity.”
David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, says, "The growing complexities of our world require exceptionally clear thinking if we are to grow the knowledge economy and benefit the province and Canada. Taking a long term view is critical to spotting opportunities early in order to identify and sustain responsible social and economic development. UW and PI are well positioned to help keep Ontario ahead of the innovation curve and position the province for success in specific research fields.”
Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, says, “Science and technology will be vital to our future. Through wise investments, Ontario and Canada are already emerging as global knowledge leaders. WGSI will help with identifying key challenges and opportunities, thereby ensuring the best possible decisions are taken.”
Waterloo Region can provide an ideal location for the conference due to its international reputation for innovation throughout the full research chain - involving basic research, experimentation and commercialization. The region is highly regarded outside of Canada for its efforts in spurring the transition from a manufacturing base to a knowledge-based economy. The location is highly accessible to the world, yet provides the intimate environment required to facilitate a highly focused gathering of top leaders.
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 28,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow.
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is pleased to share news of an important new initiative and appointment. Suzanne Corbeil, a key figure in Canada’s science and technology community, has agreed to head PI’s Global Outreach initiative which will be complementary to our existing and highly successful outreach program.
Through its Global Outreach efforts, PI aims to serve as a stimulus for theoretical physics globally and, in the process, further enhance Canada’s leadership in the promotion of science and innovation, worldwide. Global Outreach at PI will:
- Accelerate the emergence of centres of excellence in math and physics around the world by exporting PI’s expertise in building impactful research and training institutes;
- Assist in unlocking the vast untapped pool of scientific talent in the developing world – talent that is vitally needed to build science and technology capacity within developing nations;
- Strengthen the flow of brilliant young people from around the world into scientific research, bringing important new energy and creativity into the field;
- Create a two-way flow of exceptional young researchers into Canada for training and research and back to their home countries with widely applicable skills;
- Build strong relationships with emerging centres in developing nations through PI researchers with particular interests and connections to those countries;
- Extend the reach of PI’s award-winning outreach program by sharing advice with emerging centres on the development of their own outreach programs, specifically suited to students, teachers and the general public in their country;
About Suzanne Corbeil
Since 2000, Ms. Suzanne Corbeil has served as Vice-President of External Relations and Communications at the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). During her tenure at CFI, she was responsible for the promotion of scientific activities across the country, was a key player in advancing the public agenda in S & T and was instrumental in building strong relationships in all levels of government and among a variety of academic and non-profit partners. Before joining the CFI, Suzanne held positions within the Ontario Government and the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat. She has extensive experience in the social services arena through her work and volunteering with a number of Ontario colleges, community agencies and non-profit groups. Suzanne is engaged with many of the same science communication groups as PI, including the World Federation of Science Journalists and the Banff Centre for Science Communication. She is also the Founding Chair of the Science Media Centre of Canada. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law & Justice and Psychology from Laurentian University, an Advanced Management Certificate from McGill, and an Honours Diploma in Social Sciences from Cambrian College. In her private life, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, curling and travelling.