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Perimeter Institute's Paul Smith wins SCI Canada Medal

account_circle By Scott Johnston
The Society of Chemical Industry is honouring Perimeter's Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for his positive impact on the Canadian chemical industry.

Paul Smith, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Perimeter Institute, has been awarded the 2023 Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Canada Medal in recognition of his contributions to the field of flexible electronics and his leadership in advanced materials and manufacturing in Canada.

Established in 1939, the SCI Canada Medal is awarded annually to a business leader “for outstanding service in a Canadian chemical industry, who has had a clearly positive impact on their business and on the Canadian chemical industry as a whole.” It celebrates both economic innovation and sustainability through social and environmental leadership.

“We are proud that Paul Smith is being honoured in this manner,” said Perimeter Institute Director Robert Myers. “The SCI has recognized the same qualities in Paul that caught our attention when we recruited him to join Perimeter in 2021. He has a talent for creating environments that foster innovation, and for building partnerships between academia and industry that benefit all Canadians.”

Before coming to Perimeter, Smith was the VP of Xerox, Director of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, and the head of Xerox Materials Research and Development. With a PhD in physical chemistry, Smith helped develop the field of flexible electronics, and with 78 US patents to his name, he is no stranger to research. 

He is also a notable leader in business innovation and scientific talent retention. He helped create Intelliflex, Canada’s national industry association for flexible electronics, which now includes over 300 organizations, and he worked with the National Research Council of Canada to create the Canadian Campus for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (CCAMM) in 2015. CCAMM enables companies working on smart materials to access high-end laboratory and manufacturing facilities.

Smith is currently a member of the organizing committee for Quantum Days, Canada’s national conference on quantum innovation and technologies, and remains deeply engaged in Canadian research innovation as Perimeter’s Managing Director and COO.

“What an honour,” said Smith. “My career has been an exciting journey – from early days in bench chemistry to advanced materials. Now, being at Perimeter Institute, I can see the incredible potential Canada has in deep tech – the combination of AI, quantum, and advanced materials. If I were starting out again, I’d be so excited by all the opportunities ahead. These are amazing times for science and technology.”

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. 

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