Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the funding announcement on July 6, 2010 at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) in Waterloo, Ontario, along with Neil Turok, Director of PI; Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mike Lazaridis, the President of Research In Motion and founder of PI; and special guest, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.
The Next Einstein Initiative is the brainchild of Turok, who established the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in 2003 to build advanced math and science skills in Africa. Since then, more than 250 men and women from 30 African countries have passed through its innovative programs. Most have gone on to successful scientific and technical careers in Africa.
The goal of the Next Einstein Initiative is to establish 15 AIMS centres across the continent in the next decade.
“Canada will make a substantial contribution to scientific and technological development in Africa by supporting the unique public-private partnership known as the Next Einstein Initiative,” the prime minister said in Waterloo. “This is a revolutionary approach to development. It aims to nurture the brightest minds in Africa so they can take a leading role in solving the complex challenges the continent faces in areas such as agriculture, health and finance.”
“We are very excited about working with the Next Einstein Initiative,” says IDRC President David Malone. “Its goals complement our own 40-year history of fostering innovation in development through support to outstanding scholars and scientists in the developing world.”
For more information, read the press release and visit the website of the Next Einstein Initiative, where a video clip of the announcement is available.