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April 10, 2000

Ontario investment helps technology entrepreneurs

Waterloo - The Ontario government will invest $500,000 to support research in technology management at Wilfrid Laurier University's Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, Energy, Science and Technology Minister Jim Wilson announced today.

The Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund is investing $500,000 to establish a Chair in the Management of Technology Enterprises. Futher investments of $500,000 each from Wilfrid Laurier University and its corporate partner, Research in Motion, will provide a total of $1.5 million toward the study of the entrepreneurial skills essential to the success of new ventures.

"Economic analyses consistently show that Ontario is the best place in Canada to start a business," Wilson said. "Our Challenge Fund investments in research and development are helping to create a culture of innovation in which entrepreneurs can prosper."

"Establishing a Chair in the Management of Technology represents a tremendous investment in the future of Ontario's technology companies," said Robert Rosehart, president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. "It will allow Laurier to better support the province's growing list of high-tech start-up enterprises, and will help prepare the next generation of technology entrepreneurs."

"Today's announcement recognizes our community's leadership in research and innovation, and the outstanding work being done at Wilfrid Laurier University," said Elizabeth Witmer, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo.

The Schlegel Centre is named for Bob Schlegel, a WLU business graduate who built two successful business empires, including Pavestone Company. He and his wife Myrna have donated $2 million to build the new centre. The centre will be part of the Laurier School of Business and Economics

Research in Motion, based in Waterloo, is one of Canada's most successful high technology firms. The company is known for its wireless messaging devices, which allow users to send and receive e-mail.

Since 1998, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund has committed up to $250 million to research to promote innovation, keep top researchers in the province, and create highly skilled jobs. Contributions by research universities, research institutes and corporate partners will bring the total investment in 63 research projects to more than $700 million.

For more information, contact:

Michael Strickland
Media Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext.3070

Mike Krizanc
Minister's Office
Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology
416-327-3550

Brian LeGrow
Communications Branch
Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology
416-327-5555

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