Waterloo, Canada – May 25, 2009 – The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) welcomed the announcement today by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario of building and infrastructure grants towards the creation of the Balsillie Centre of Excellence. CIGI founder and Chair Jim Balsillie made a private donation to CIGI to match the funds provided by the two governments.

The Government of Canada and Government of Ontario both pledged $25 million each to CIGI for building and infrastructure associated with creating the Balsillie Centre of Excellence.  Mr. Balsillie’s matching donation of $50 million will be used to fund activities at CIGI in support of the centre. The City of Waterloo donated the land next to CIGI for the building of the new centre, valued at $5 million.

“We are grateful for the support we have received today and, from the very beginning, of both the federal and provincial governments,” said John English, executive director of CIGI. “These grants will enable CIGI to create a unique centre of excellence that will serve as a vehicle of partnership among CIGI, global research institutions and the academic and policy communities in Canada. Networking, capacity-building and knowledge sharing are central to CIGI’s work and our mandate.”

Under CIGI’s leadership and direction, the Balsillie Centre of Excellence will create resources and facilities to run programs of studies in partnership with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and other universities in Canada and internationally. The Centre will house several schools and programs, including the already established Balsillie School of International Affairs.

“This is another positive step for the vision which we started to build with CIGI in 2002,” said Mr. Balsillie. “Today’s support from both the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario is further proof that the most pressing issues of our time require investment and long-term commitment to build capacity in international affairs.“

CIGI will be responsible for the construction of the new buildings which will be built on the land next to CIGI. It will also assume responsibility for modifying and redesigning its existing interior, managing the facilities and negotiating partnerships for the centre. Construction on the Balsillie Centre of Excellence will begin in June 2009.

Neve Peric
Media Relations
Phone: +1.519.885.2444 ext 390
Email [email protected]

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges. Led by a group of experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate, builds capacity, and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.


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  • Neve Peric provides oversight of the organization's finance and human resources departments. She is also responsible for facilities, including the CIGI Campus.