Welcoming MITACS to UBC

Honorable members of parliament, MLA, Mr. President, Friends and colleagues

Yes, I was involved in the founding of MITACS 10 years ago. I had the privilege to have fun doing it with Luc Vinet, Don Dawson, and Steve Halperin. They all wrote this morning nice comments to celebrate this wonderful occasion. I will not read them but you could all imagine how proud they all are of the state of MITACS today.

I should however say that we had nothing to do with the most intriguing aspect of the current MITACS success story. The story that transcends the mathematical sciences. The story of MITACS role in changing the way we look at and deal with knowledge transfer: The internship program, The Accelerate Canada initiative, Globalink, Elevate, etc….

This is all Arvind’s story. My role was simply to be exhausted by simply watching it unfold from the stands.

So, my hearty congratulations to MITACS on its 10th anniversary, to Arvind, and to all the MITACS investigators, interns, students, and staff for making this institution such a success story for Canada.

Closer to home, I should say that yes MITACS did emerge a decade ago out of a dinky office at UBC. Even the official launch happened here at the Asian center at UBC. So, it is only fitting that MITACS comes finally home to UBC and for that I need to thank our President Stephen Toope and the chair of UBC’s Board of Governors Brad Bennett for making it happen.

Now I’ve been around UBC for 32 years, and I am not known to be particularly kind with senior administrators. But, I need to make an exception here. I do harass them more often than not in Board’s meetings, but Dave, Pierre, John, Lisa, and Brian, you need to know that we are all extremely grateful and humbled by how hard you work for this university. And President Toope, thank you

• For your commitment and advocacy towards making Canada a major international hub for graduate training.

• For recognizing that to do that we need to be more pro-active in our graduate recruitment, more innovative in our graduate training, and more involved in the placing of our graduate students in the work force.

• And for identifying MITACS as the national organization that will help UBC and the rest of the country achieve such a vision.

Thanks and Congratulations to all.

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