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By 2009, the independent, nonpartisan Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) was well on its way to fulfilling its vision to be the world's leading think tank on the global economy, global security, the environment and energy, and global development. Founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, cofounders of the Waterloo, Ontario–based wireless-technology firm Research in Motion (now BlackBerry), and strategically located in the province's Technology Triangle, CIGI had experienced rapid growth in its research programs, and had recently partnered with the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to launch the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

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