WATERLOO, Ontario, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new and generous act of personal philanthropy, Mike Lazaridis has provided an additional $50 million (Canadian) to Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI). This private donation increases his personal contributions to $150 million in the research institute.

The private funding announcement, delivered by The Honourable John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, was celebrated by over 600 people just prior to a PI Public Lecture. The donation was acknowledged by all dignitaries representing the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, important members of a public-private partnership that fund the scientific research and outreach operations.

In his remarks on behalf of the Government of Ontario, The Honourable John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation said: "Ontario's $3B Innovation Agenda focuses on our government acting as a catalyst to support our top researchers and entrepreneurs - extraordinary people like Mike Lazaridis who are leading the way to turn groundbreaking ideas and innovation into Ontario's next generation of jobs. Ontario's commitment to fundamental and applied research has not only been informed but also inspired by Mike's personal commitment to innovation, and his contributions to the Perimeter Institute. That's why our government has already invested over $65M to support this important initiative. This new investment will strengthen the Institute and the government-industry partnerships that have made it possible, and help us to continue to attract the world-class talent and the scientific knowledge Ontario needs to compete in the 21st century."

On behalf of the Government of Canada, The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, provided these words, "Mr. Lazaridis is one of Canada's most significant science and technology (S&T) leaders and is making an extraordinary contribution to further strengthen our country's S& T capacity. The recent nomination of Mr. Neil Turok as the new Executive Director of the Institute is one of many examples of this success. The Government of Canada is an important partner in the development of the Perimeter Institute, having renewed public funding in March 2007 to further propel the scientific research and outreach activities at international levels. In keeping with the government's S&T strategy, the Perimeter Institute continues to provide the country with a competitive advantage in the area of basic research, pushes the frontiers of knowledge, attracts highly qualified researchers, promotes the nation's world class excellence abroad, and shares the joys of scientific research, discovery and technologies with Canadians from coast to coast. The vision and role of Mike Lazaridis in the partnership have been central, including his advocacy on behalf of basic research and education, his leadership at the Institute, and overwhelming financial support that now totals $150 million in personal philanthropy." More remarks can be found on Perimeter's website.

Mike Lazaridis, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Perimeter Institute, thanked all national, provincial, regional and municipal partners for their commitment to scientific research and their direct role in shaping the institute. He also acknowledged those in wider society who engage in the outreach activities and said, "Perimeter Institute exists because of a shared commitment by all of the partners. Partners who know that today's scientific research will seed tomorrow's biggest innovations. The power of human understanding and new ideas has a long and proven history in transforming society - such as Maxwell's unification of electricity and magnetism, and Einstein's insights about the nature of space, time, and light. Today's scientists are pushing our fundamental understanding even further. They are working on the most challenging problems we have ever known and they are calculating new solutions that, over time, will improve our society - intellectually, materially, and by stimulating future generations of researchers to dig even deeper. These are exciting times in science and we have the good fortune to propel new ideas right here in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is an important mission I feel passionate about and wish to support. Finally, all of us at Perimeter wish to thank you - the students, teachers and members of the general public. Your enthusiasm for science provides constant motivation to our researchers, outreach staff, and the partnership. Collectively, we all share in the grand quest to research, discover, and innovate."