Microsoft Canada to fund technology initiatives at Canadian universities

University of Waterloo first recipient for research, e-Learning and teaching

Waterloo, ON - August 14, 2002 – Microsoft Canada today launched a fund aimed at advancing technology initiatives at Canada’s most innovative universities with the creation of the Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance.

The new initiative, developed in consultation with Canadian universities, will offer funding to enable research and development and stimulate technology innovation.

A $10-million fund will provide support over five years, with Microsoft Canada inviting eligible universities to apply for participation. In addition to financial support, the Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance will encourage best practice sharing within the academic community and enable outreach to the business community.

"Microsoft Canada is committed to advancing collaboration between industry and academia, which is crucial to delivering a shared vision for the future of technology in education," said Frank Clegg, President, Microsoft Canada. "This announcement is the first step in building closer relationships with the Canadian academic community."

The Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance encompasses four comprehensive categories: academic research, education solutions, curriculum integration and industry outreach.

University of Waterloo is the first recipient, receiving $2.3 million for a proposal spanning three of the four program categories. Among them is a research project involving a team of three professors, a researcher programmer, a post-doctoral fellow and six graduate students who will develop a mathematical recognition engine for the Tablet PC, a next generation portable computer that includes advanced handwriting recognition capability. The Waterloo-developed engine will enable mathematicians to enter and compute complex formulas using pen-based input.

"University of Waterloo congratulates Microsoft Canada on its vision to advance computer education and research in Canada," said Professor David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo.

"That Microsoft has chosen Waterloo as the first institution to share in this unique alliance testifies to our long-standing collaboration, through co-operative education, research and development. The new fund will enable many more of our best students and researchers to advance the boundaries of knowledge in this area, which is so crucial to Canada's innovation strategy."

Interested representatives from accredited Canadian universities are invited to contact Pamela Lauz at Microsoft Canada (905.568.0434 .4169) to discuss potential initiatives, or email questions to

For an archive of today’s news conference, please go to

About The University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, founded in 1957, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities, with undergraduate and graduate programs in the faculties of applied health sciences, arts, engineering, environmental studies, mathematics and science. UW has an enrolment of more than 21,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students and an annual operating/research budget of just over $300 million.

The University of Waterloo is highly respected for its leadership and innovation in many branches of research, including the new knowledge and information technology areas. It is also noted for many interdisciplinary teaching programs and its expertise in transferring technology and new discoveries to society.

About Microsoft Canada Co.

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through software - any time, any place and on any device. Visit Microsoft Canada’s web site at


For More Information Please Contact:

Brian Stock Corinne Smirle

Microsoft Canada Co. Media Profile

(905) 568-0434 ext. 4473 (905) 568-0434 x4255

From Jim Fox, UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4444;

Release no. 161 -- August 14, 2002


University of Waterloo

Academic Innovation Alliance Initiatives


The goal of the Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance is to encourage collaborative research and development, and stimulate innovation at Canada’s most innovative universities. In that spirit, as the fund’s first recipient, the University of Waterloo will work with Microsoft Canada on three separate projects totalling a $2.3-million investment.

The fund was created to advance the development of technology initiatives at Canadian universities by working together to fulfil common goals, which are represented by the following categories: Academic Research, Education Solutions, Curriculum Integration and Industry Outreach. The University of Waterloo will implement initiatives in three of the four categories:

Education Solutions

Curriculum Integration

Academic Research



For more information, please contact:

Brian Stock, Corporate Public Relations Manager, Microsoft Canada Co., (905) 568-0434, ext. 4473

For other background reports on the initiative, please go to: