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Aug. 15, 01:00 EDT

Microsoft Canada fund supports universities

$10 million finances technology research

WATERLOO (CP) — Microsoft Canada launched a $10 million fund aimed at supporting universities to finance new-technology research.

The Mississauga-based technology firm, the Canadian division of U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp., developed the fund in consultation with Canadian universities focusing on technology research and development.

The Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance will provide qualifying universities with five years of support. Microsoft is inviting universities to apply for the program.

"Microsoft Canada is committed to advancing collaboration between industry and academia," Frank Clegg, president of Microsoft Canada, said yesterday.

"This announcement is the first step in building closer relationships with the Canadian academic community."

The fund encompasses four categories, including academic research, education solutions, curriculum integration and industry outreach.

The first recipient of the fund is the University of Waterloo. The technology-focused school is receiving $2.3 million to help fund several research projects.

Among those projects is a proposal to develop a mathematical recognition engine for the Tablet PC, a handheld computer created by Microsoft. This engine will enable users to enter and compute complex formulas using a special pen designed specifically for the portable computer, the company said.