Our People - Advisory Board

Cosimo Fiorenza

Cosimo Fiorenza, Vice-Chair, has played a major role in the development of the Quantum Valley in Waterloo Region. He is a founding member of the Perimeter Institute Board of Directors. In addition to his role as Vice-Chair of the Board, Mr. Fiorenza is a member of both the Finance Committee and the Investment Committee, and previously served as Co-Chair of the Perimeter Institute Leadership Council. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Friends of Perimeter Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of AIMS-NEI Canada, one of Perimeter’s global outreach partners.

Mr. Fiorenza is the Vice-President and General Counsel of Quantum Valley Investments, where he has helped to establish numerous quantum technology start-up companies. He serves as a director and officer of several of these start-up companies, actively supporting them in a broad spectrum of matters including recruitment, financial matters, intellectual property, fundraising, and government relations.

Mr. Fiorenza also helped to establish the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and remains an active member of the IQC Board of Directors and Finance Committee. In 2016, he helped establish Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, a charitable organization focused on applied quantum research and specifically the development of new quantum technologies that will be the basis for new products and new businesses in Canada. Mr. Fiorenza serves as Vice-Chair of Ideas Lab and is also a member of its Finance Committee and Investment Committee. Previously, he spent approximately 20 years with major Toronto law firms, advising some of Canada’s leading corporations and entrepreneurs on income tax and commercial matters, with a focus on technology and international structure. Mr. Fiorenza holds a degree in business administration from Lakehead University and a law degree from the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1991.

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Advisory Board
David Fransen

David began his pursuit of the academic life in Winnipeg, where he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Mennonite Bible College in 1974. From Winnipeg, he proceeded to the University of Waterloo, where he obtained an Honours BA (1976) and an MA (1977). David then moved to the University of Toronto, where he obtained his PhD in History in 1984 for his dissertation on the role of the first generation of university-trained mandarins in introducing reforms to Canada’s federal-provincial fiscal relations during the Depression and the Second World War.

In 1980, David, his wife, Barbara, and their two young children moved to Ottawa, so that he could conduct the research for his doctoral dissertation. Simultaneously, he began a career in the federal public service at the Department of Finance, moving from there to increasingly senior positions in a variety of departments. From 1988 until 1995, he worked at the Privy Council Office, where he provided policy advice related to such developments as the Green Plan in 1990, the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the creation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and the creation of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

In 1995, David moved to Industry Canada as the Director of Economic Framework Policies in the Strategic Policy Branch. From there, he moved on to become the Director General of the Office of Consumer Affairs in 1997.

In 1999, David became the Director General of the Centre for Healthy Human Development at Health Canada. In this capacity, he chaired committees and boards that were responsible for such initiatives as the creation of a Canadian cancer control strategy, a Canadian diabetes strategy, the web-based Canadian Health Network and variety of children’s and seniors’ health programs. In 2001, David returned to Industry Canada (IC) as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister in the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunication Sector, where he was responsible for revitalizing IC’s programs delivering Internet-based services to schools and communities. David became Assistant Deputy Minister of the Industry Sector in 2003, where he was primarily responsible for providing policy advice and delivering programs related to some of Canada’s key economic sectors, e.g., automotive, aerospace, life sciences, steel and forestry.

In August 2004, David became Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Policy at Industry Canada, as well as the Director of Investment Canada. As ADM Policy, he chaired a wide variety of boards and committees, such as the Department’s ADM-level Senior Policy Committee, the federal government’s lead committee of Science ADMs, along with a variety of initiatives with external stakeholders, eg. the University Advisory Group (a Vice-President level committee from universities, the federal granting agencies and the private sector), and a joint initiative with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Paper Burden Reduction Initiative. David was also a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standards Council of Canada, and the Secretary of the Minister’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.

In January 2006, David was pleased to return to Waterloo as the Executive Director of one of the most innovative research institutes in the world, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and as Associate Vice-President (Strategic Relations) at one of the most innovative universities in the world.

David recently retired from his position as the Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Los Angeles.

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Advisory Board
Wayne Kozun

Wayne Kozun was responsible for Ontario Teachers’ Public Equities portfolio. Public Equities incorporates internally managed portfolios, the Relationship Investing team and external managers used primarily to broaden geographic scope. In support of these activities, Public Equities monitors the corporate governance practices of the companies in which Ontario Teachers’ invests. Wayne joined Ontario Teachers’ in 1995 and has held various positions including most recently Senior Vice-President, Fixed Income & Alternative Investments. Wayne serves on the boards of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute and Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd. He holds a BESc from Western University, and MBA from the Ivey Business School, is a CFA charterholder, and is a graduation of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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Advisory Board
Mike Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Quantum Valley Investments (QVI), which he and Doug Fregin established in Waterloo. In March 2013, they launched QVI with $100 million to provide financial and intellectual capital for the development and commercialization of quantum physics and quantum computing breakthroughs. QVI aims to help transform ideas and early-stage breakthroughs into commercially viable products, technologies, and services. It is Mr. Lazaridis’ latest venture in more than a decade’s work aimed at creating a “Quantum Valley” in Waterloo by bringing the world’s best minds in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and materials science together to collaborate on cutting-edge quantum research.

In 1984, Mr. Lazaridis co-founded BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) with Mr. Fregin. They invented the BlackBerry device, created the smartphone industry, and built Canada’s largest global tech business. Mr. Lazaridis served in various positions including Co-Chairman and Co-CEO (1984-2012) and Board Vice Chair and Chair of the Innovation Committee (2012-13).

Mr. Lazaridis is the Founder and Board Chair of Perimeter Institute, where he helps generate important private and public sector funding for the Institute. He also founded the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Quantum-Nano Centre, both at the University of Waterloo. He has donated more than $170 million to Perimeter, and more than $100 million to IQC.

Among his many honours, Mr. Lazaridis is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada and has been named to both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. He was listed on the Maclean’s Honour Roll as a distinguished Canadian in 2000, named as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, honoured as a Globe and Mail Nation Builder of the Year in 2010, selected as the 2013 Visionary of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum, and awarded the Ernest C. Manning Principal Award, Canada’s most prestigious innovation prize.

Mr. Lazaridis holds an honorary doctoral degree in Engineering from the University of Waterloo (where he formerly served as Chancellor), as well as a Doctor of Laws from McMaster University, the University of Windsor, and Laval University. In addition to his many professional and personal accomplishments, Mr. Lazaridis won an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for technical achievements in the movie and TV industries for developing a high-speed barcode reader that greatly increased the speed of editing film.

Mr. Lazaridis was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He moved to Canada in 1966 with his family, settling in Windsor, Ontario

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Advisory Board
Mark Pecen

Mark Pecen serves as CEO of Approach Infinity, Inc., providing advisory services to firms requiring technology due diligence and management consulting in the areas of wireless communication and emerging technologies, rapidly growing technology companies and their venture capital funding partners. The firm comprises a network of senior executives and experts in the management of technology, innovation, research and development, marketing, sales, global standards, patents, technology entrepreneurship, and individuals with specific technical disciplines such as information theory, radio frequency systems, wireless system protocols, cryptography and others.

Pecen retired as Sr. Vice President, Research and Advanced Technology and technology advisor to the CEO of BlackBerry, maker of wireless smart phones. He was responsible for the creation and management of BlackBerry’s Advanced Technology Research Centre and a significant portion of BlackBerry’s wireless patent portfolio. A past Distinguished Innovator and member of the Science Advisory Board at Motorola, Pecen also managed consultation work for clients in North America and Europe.

Pecen invented a number of technologies that have later been adopted in global standards, including the Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM), Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS), High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), Long-Term Evolution (LTE) for 4G wireless and others.

Pecen serves as an advisor to several industry and academic organizations, and is a regular advisor to the Canadian government on wireless communication and research. He holds board positions on University of Waterloo Institute for Quantum Computing, École Polytechnique, Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business, Quantum Works academic network for quantum information research, Canadian Digital Media Network, the Communication Research Centre (CRC) of Industry Canada and others.

A veteran of the wireless industry, he is an author and editor of a number of text books in the area of wireless technology and holds more than 100 fundamental patents in areas of wireless communication, networking and computing, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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Advisory Board
Robert Dunlop

Robert retired from Industry Canada where he was the assistant deputy minister responsible for science and innovation. He held this position between 2009 and 2014, and before that he served at the assistant deputy minister level at Finance Canada where he co-managed the Economic Development and Corporate Finance Branch. Over his career, he has had responsibilities in a number of areas including program management, policy development and supporting ministers.

Robert is a native Montrealer where he studied economics and finance at McGill University. He now lives in Toronto.

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Advisory Board