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Ideas Start Here

  • Look who’s talking: Canada 3.0

    A luxury cruise liner. That’s how Kevin Tuer, the managing director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, describes Canada’s digital media scene. “We have capability. We’ve got food, water, and entertainment. We’ve got all the pieces. We just need a captain to plot the course and steer the ship,” he says. It’s the idea behind the annual Canada 3.0 forum.

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  • Biosphere reserves: Earth to Waterloo

    George Francis, retired environment and resource studies professor, has been studying biosphere reserves since the 1960s. Biosphere reserves are special areas of land, or coastal waters, that combine environmental protection and sustainable jobs. Today, Waterloo professors and students are researching how these links work in Ontario’s biosphere reserves.

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  • VeloCity turns ideas into business

    When Rezart Bajraktari graduates, he won’t be pounding the pavement: he’ll be on the other side of the desk, hiring his first employees. He’s one of the first students of VeloCity, Waterloo’s “dormcubator,” that helps enterprising students launch technology and media companies. Without VeloCity, Rezart is sure his company wouldn’t be where it is today.

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  • The BlackBerry that grew around the world

    In 1984, while Mike Lazaridis was a fourth-year Waterloo electrical and computer engineering student, he founded his own company, Research In Motion. Today RIM is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. RIM is best known for the BlackBerry, the world's first complete, secure, end-to-end wireless solution for email and corporate data delivery. 

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  • Kinesiology: one idea, many faces

    Walk down the corridors in applied health sciences and you’d find it hard to pinpoint what Waterloo’s kinesiology department is about. In one room, professors and students improve car seat and interior design to keep spines healthy. In another lab, researchers examine how cells and obesity are linked. Far-reaching research? Yes, but that’s precisely the point.

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  • Exploring the private world of quantum cryptography

    Credit numbers. Medical history. Banking credentials. We hope our private lives are private. Safeguarding the privacy of individuals, businesses, or governments has driven decades of cryptographic research at the University of Waterloo. Scientists at Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing are making breakthroughs in encryption of unprecedented security.

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  • Can you spare a Euro?

    Robert Mundell is hardly your typical economist. The former Waterloo economics professor has been called a “visionary,” and “two decades ahead of everybody.” He’s also now touted as one of the fathers of the Euro, and his optimum currency areas idea is considered one of the most important developments in international economics since the rise of the U.S. dollar.

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  • Science of streams flourishes at Waterloo

    Renowned for its research in limnology, the University of Waterloo has served as an incubator for many scientific breakthroughs and discoveries. Limnology — stream ecology — looks at how stream ecosystems function, by examining the biology of organisms that live in streams and their relationships to each other, the stream environment, and the broader ecosystem. 

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