Province accelerates discovery with renewed support of Perimeter
The fundamental research conducted at Perimeter Institute is “putting Ontario on the map in terms of theoretical physics,” Premier Kathleen Wynne told a packed theatre during a visit to Perimeter today.
“This place has become a magnet for people who have the capacity to ask these very deep and important questions,” she said. “In finding out more about the foundations of our universe, you’re building the foundation for ideas and inventions that will change our lives. You’re building the foundation for a strong economic future.”
The Premier was joined by The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, to formally announce Ontario’s renewed funding of $50 million over five years, through the Business Growth Initiative. The investment will accelerate Perimeter’s pursuit of breakthroughs in areas such as cosmology, condensed matter physics, and quantum information.
“Our support of the Perimeter Institute puts Ontario at the head of breakthroughs in physics, leading to new knowledge and value, furthering economic growth and jobs,” said Minister Moridi. “It also continues our commitment to attracting the best and brightest minds to the province, retaining home-grown talent, and seizing opportunities for global leadership.”
Prior to the announcement, Premier Wynne and Minister Moridi toured Perimeter with Founder and Board Chair Mike Lazaridis, Director Neil Turok, and other members of the Institute’s senior leadership team. They discussed the Institute’s successful public-private partnership, educational outreach activities, and exciting developments in physics, as well as Perimeter’s expanding circle of research and academic partners across Ontario.
Turok introduced Premier Wynne to Yakir Aharonov, a leader in quantum foundations who spends time at Perimeter through the Distinguished Visiting Research Chairs program. The Premier then spoke with Faculty members Asimina Arvanitaki and Bianca Dittrich about their work, and met with students from around the world who are just completing the Perimeter Scholars International master’s program.
“The people I’m meeting could’ve chosen to go anywhere, but you’re here,” Premier Wynne noted approvingly. After asking the students if they planned to come back to Perimeter later in their careers, she remarked, “I’m seeing a lot of nods.”
Students explained that the critical mass of top researchers and the culture of collaboration at Perimeter set it apart. Fittingly, the audience Premier Wynne addressed in Perimeter’s theatre included dozens of leading cosmologists who had just arrived for the “Cosmological Frontiers in Fundamental Physics” conference.
On behalf of the Perimeter community, Founder Mike Lazaridis thanked Premier Wynne for her government’s support and spoke about the global excitement surrounding the field.
“The early investments in quantum physics that started with the creation of Perimeter Institute some 17 years ago have given Ontario and Canada an early-mover advantage,” he said, referring to Waterloo Region’s growing research and innovation ecosystem. “Our progress here in Quantum Valley is not only being noticed, but it is prompting concentrated efforts to catch up in research labs, tech companies, and governments around the world.”
Added Perimeter Director Neil Turok: “The Government of Ontario has supported Perimeter’s growth into a centre of scientific excellence from its inception. Today’s renewed commitment is both humbling and reinvigorating as we pursue a deeper understanding of the universe and of the basic physics which will underpin the groundbreaking technologies of tomorrow.”
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.