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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Krembil Foundation elevates its commitment to Canadian-based breakthroughs

account_circle By Mike Brown
The Canadian philanthropic organization has increased and extended its visionary support of Perimeter Institute’s research at the intersections of physics and mathematics.

When the Krembil Foundation first partnered with Perimeter Institute in 2013, its goal was to spur scientific advances at the world’s largest independent centre for theoretical physics, introducing prestigious named chairs that would enable two of the world’s top young scientists to form a unique collaboration. It was a new kind of experiment for the Foundation.

Known for its long-term approach to accelerating research, expanding knowledge, and impacting lives through scientific discoveries that will lead to advances in medicine, the Krembil Foundation had not previously supported theoretical physics, which is a foundational area of research that precedes – often by generations – advancements in medicine and technology.

“We are doing this because we believe theoretical physics as practised at Perimeter can potentially have a big and beneficial impact on humanity,” said Robert Krembil, founder of the Krembil Foundation.

The Foundation’s initial $4 million investment created two prestigious research chairs for Kevin Costello and Davide Gaiotto, and has resulted in research at the forefront of physics and mathematics. That promise, and the possibility of significant discovery at the intersections of their disciplines, inspired the Foundation to not only renew but increase its support with a new $8 million gift over a 10-year period – bringing their total investment in the partnership to $12 million.

Portraits of Davide Gaiotto and Kevin Costello
Davide Gaiotto, Krembil Galileo Galilei Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute, and Kevin Costello, Krembil William Rowan Hamilton Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute

Mike Lazaridis, Perimeter Founder and Board Chair, said “the Krembil Foundation’s act of generosity and vision is a powerful demonstration that, through strategic investments in science, Canada can play a fundamental role in advancing our understanding of the world around us.”

Lazaridis added that the Krembil Foundation, and all of Perimeter’s private and public supporters, exemplify the “forward-thinking approach to philanthropy that will benefit not only today’s society, but that of future generations.”

The Krembil Foundation’s investment supports the Krembil Galileo Galilei Chair in Theoretical Physics, held by Gaiotto, and the Krembil William Rowan Hamilton Chair in Theoretical Physics, held by Costello. Together, Gaiotto and Costello form the backbone of Perimeter’s research in mathematical physics.

Gaiotto, recruited from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has made conceptual advances in our understanding of quantum fields, and earned the 2013 New Horizons in Physics Prize.

Costello, recruited from the Mathematics Department at Northwestern University, is known for introducing powerful new mathematical tools into the theory of quantum fields. He received the prestigious Berwick Prize from the London Mathematical Society in 2017.

“Kevin and Davide are an example of what makes Perimeter great,” said Perimeter Director Robert Myers. “Individually, they would be outstanding scientists at any university. But working together at Perimeter, they’re a true research powerhouse – with the space, students, and support needed to advance the field. We appreciate the foresight of the Krembil Foundation to retain their incredible talent in Canada and support their continued advances.”

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

For more information, contact:
Mike Brown
Manager, Communications & Media
519-569-7600 x5131