RIM Founder Invests $100 Million to Create Canada's Ultimate Hive of Technological Innovation

by Knowlton Thomas | Research

Mike Lazaridis, who founded Research In Motion in Waterloo and pioneered the BlackBerry, poured $100 million into what will open tomorrow as the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.

Located in Waterloo, this centre has high hopes of recreating the conditions that made AT&T's Bell Labs a famous epicentre of incredible technological innovation half a century ago. Bell Labs is often credited as a significant early contributor to what eventually became Silicon Valley.

The research centre is designed to produce breakthroughs in technology, particularly technology involving things nearly as small as an atom. It’s “absolutely” going to be the Bell Labs of the 21st century, Lazaridis affirmed yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg. “That reality got clearer and clearer to me as we got closer to the ribbon-cutting.”

Mike resigned as chairman of RIM at the start of this year. The company was doing poorly then and worse now, leaving an unfortunate black stain on an otherwise bright legacy. But RIM's shortcomings have freed up Mike's time quite a bit, which could prove better for Canadian innovation long-term.

“We can’t offer them ocean, beaches or mountains, but we can try and offer them the best environment, the best collaborators, the best equipment that would be conducive to them making the breakthroughs of their lifetime,” Mike said of the bright minds who will flock to his centre. “One of the best ways to describe this is we’re trying to break the known laws of physics.”

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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