It’s a match made in heaven. BlackBerry continues to be one of Canada’s most important tech companies, delivering transformational products and services in artificial intelligence, automotive technology and security. The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) is Canada’s top technology university and was recently ranked top-40 globally for Engineering and Technology.
The new partnership will combine the strengths of the two organizations in a unique program designed to fast-track the development of cutting-edge research into market-ready products. The company also plans to support UWaterloo-based entrepreneurs who want to commercialize their intellectual property – the University has a reputation for producing exciting companies and products.
“At BlackBerry, we are constantly searching for ways we can advance the development of innovative technologies to secure and protect our increasingly hyperconnected world,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry, in a release. “We are thrilled to be doubling down on that mission while helping to foster the next generation of innovators and imagineers as part of our expanded partnership with the University of Waterloo and look forward to working with them to investigate new ideas with a view to taking them from hand-scribbled diagrams to fully formed technologies ready for the global marketplace.”
Research in this new partnership will cut across cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and safety assurance, aligning with BlackBerry’s core business areas. These are also strengths at UWaterloo, which is home to top artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and automotive technology institutes and research centres.
While this partnership is new, it builds on three decades of partnerships between BlackBerry and UWaterloo – in fact, the tech giant’s founders were UWaterloo students. However, this agreement is the most comprehensive yet and sees BlackBerry become a founding partner in the Gateway for Enterprises to Discovery Innovation (GEDI), an office at UWaterloo that streamlines corporate engagement.
“We are delighted to work with BlackBerry in the coming years to tackle disruptive, global challenges,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “This agreement is an important milestone in our long-standing partnership and further cements the University’s unique position at the heart of a critical innovation community—where talent, world-class research and entrepreneurial spirit come together to connect ideas and impact.”