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

PI earns top marks in KPMG review

Independent Audit for Industry Canada confirms top performance by Perimeter Institute.

An independent and in-depth review has given top marks to Perimeter Institute for its research, training and outreach activities and confirmed PI as an excellent value-for-money investment.

The third party assessment for Industry Canada was conducted by KPMG and included an expert panel of 19 independent international scientists. The review was carried out in compliance with the funding agreement between the Government of Canada and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

PI Director Neil Turok said, "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this thorough review, which has determined that virtually every aspect of Perimeter Institute's core programming and daily operations is of the highest international calibre. This assessment provides independent verification to our many partners that Perimeter Institute is on track to becoming one of the world's foremost centres in theoretical physics – and that we are doing so in a strategic, impactful and cost-effective manner."

The KPMG findings to Industry Canada state: "The Institute and the caliber of PI talent are highly regarded by both internal and external stakeholders, as are the Institute's culture of innovation and focus on new ideas and opportunities that depart from traditional approaches and models." Specific conclusions about Perimeter's research, training and outreach activities include:

  • "Research conducted within PI's core fields are of great importance and of consequence. Some of the research is reaching groundbreaking, revolutionary, and transformative levels and international experts have strong positive opinions of both the research and PI researchers."
  • "A high quality training environment is in place wherein PI is improving students' research programs through their ability to produce better quality and quantity of publications and presentations, increased numbers of collaborations, and exposure to a combination of disciplines and fields."
  • "PI's engagement in high impact communications and outreach goes beyond that of typical research institutions."

The positive review includes KPMG's conclusion that Perimeter Institute has made a sizeable impact within the Canadian theoretical physics landscape, as well as vaulted Canada into a highly visible and "respected world player in theoretical physics, with Canadian science capacity and reputation markedly improved mainly due to PI."

Also noted are the Institute's day-to-day procedures and careful use of funds, with KPMG determining that "PI has designed and implemented practices and processes that promote economy and efficiency in the use of resources and that are effective in supporting the achievement of PI objectives and expected results."

The complete findings are compiled in two parts consisting of:

  1. An Evaluation Report to assess PI's advancements in scientific research, attraction of top talent, the research environment, mechanisms for scientific interactions, outreach to the public and students/teachers across Canada, the international positioning of Canada in basic research, dissemination of research outcomes, provision for high level training opportunities, and the securing of public and private support.
  2. A Performance Audit to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in which PI applies public funds. This includes a review of PI's strategies to attract top research talent, mechanisms to sustain funding support, management structure, and outreach process and practices.

A summary of main conclusions is available on this Perimeter Institute webpage, along with the full KPMG reports to Industry Canada.

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