We are curious at Waterloo. Waterloo students and researchers approach a problem a little differently than most institutions. We naturally draw connections between disciplines, industry sectors and international borders. We are also focused on advancing our research efforts for global impact.

Waterloo is home to Nobel-winning and Killam Prize researchers who are changing the face of their disciplines and our society. With 30 research centres and institutes, 74 Canada Research Chairs, including two Canada 150 Research Chairs and one Canada Excellence Chair, Waterloo is steeped in research that is pioneering new discoveries and technology every day.

Fundamental research

Innovation starts with curiosity. That curiosity is what fuels any discovery, no matter the field, and at Waterloo, we encourage our students and researchers to tap into the curiosity by adamantly supporting fundamental research.

Fundamental research is what has driven so many of the paradigm-shifting discoveries in our world, whether it’s the development of radar, nuclear power or high intensity lasers that we use every day in medical procedures and manufacturing. None of it would be possible without the dedication of researchers driven by a hunch and backed up by an enormous amount of hard work.

Real-world applications and commercialization

While fundamental research is at the heart of Waterloo’s focus and success over six decades, our community keeps an eye on solving real-world problems with our scholarship. This is only possible by fostering an environment that connects our researchers with industry partners and an unmatched entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Commercialization of research is a vital piece of Waterloo’s history. We are home to extraordinary researchers doing extraordinary work and that work can and will have a tremendous economic and societal impact through commercialization. Waterloo has a pioneering creator-owned IP Policy that is at the very core of our institutional DNA and this has helped foster hundreds of startup and scale-up ventures, enabled the creation of global leaders like OpenText and contributes more than $450 million to Ontario’s annual GDP.

Future focus for global impact

Research does not stand still. As our world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Waterloo is responding with a widespread push for discovery and policy research to aid in our current state and recovery.

At the same time, global challenges, such as climate change, sustainability, green energy, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, healthy aging and cybersecurity are not going anywhere. If anything, the pandemic has exacerbated the effects of these disruptive forces. Waterloo is aligning our research strengths to deliberately tackle these global challenges through an interdisciplinary and international approach.