From left, Google Canada's Steven Woods joined by Associate Dean for Engineering at the University of Waterloo Dr. Karim, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, President of Actua Jennifer Flanagan, and Director of Women in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Professor Joanne Atlee. Photo submitted.

Published: April 17th, 2018

In addition to opening its first community space in Canada, Google is pumping $2.1 million in funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in Canada.

The company announced today that it will allocate $1.5 million to Actua, $400,000 for the University of Waterloo’s Women in Computer Science initiative and $200,000 for Engineering Science Quest to boost digital skills among Waterloo youth. The funding announcement was made in tandem with the opening of the new Google Waterloo Community Space in Kitchener, offering local nonprofits and organizations free access to an inclusive event space, programming opportunities and co-working areas. The 400,000 square foot space opens the door for nonprofits that sometimes have a difficult time finding space to host events and workshops. The existing talent in Waterloo, combined with Google’s resources, will have a significant impact on digital skills programming in the area, said Karim Karim, associate dean for engineering for the University of Waterloo.

“The Outreach department within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo has considerable experience in creating and delivering programs that build logical thinking and digital literacy skills in youths. With support from Google, we will now be able to expand these programs to inspire and prepare even more young adults in the Waterloo region to become drivers of innovation for Canada and globally,” said Karim.

Actua’s president and CEO Jennifer Flanagan said Google’s investment will help Actua reach hundreds of thousands of youth. Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic added he was very pleased with the announcement.

“This is fantastic news for our city,” said Vrbanovic. “Google’s support will help us drive innovation and growth and find future tech leaders right here in the community.”

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