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Mike Lazaridis & Gary Mousseau

Location: Waterloo, ON

Award: Principal Award

Category: Communications

Year: 2002


Designed the architecture for the BlackBerry, the first handheld, totally integrated, wireless e-mail system. BlackBerry is the world's leading wireless enterprise solution for mobile professionals to stay continuously connected to their corporate e-mail, while meeting the security and manageability requirements of IT departments. Read the News Release and Media Backgrounder for additional information

News Release

Research In Motion's Integrated Wireless Solution Honoured

Inventors of BlackBerry™ Single Mailbox Integration Patent Capture Top $100,000 Manning Award

Calgary, AB — The BlackBerry™ wireless solution from Research In Motion Limited (RIM) is the world's leading wireless enterprise solution for mobile professionals to stay continuously connected to their corporate e-mail while meeting the security and manageability requirements of IT departments.

Mike Lazaridis and Gary Mousseau, who are named on the "Single Mailbox Integration" patent that describes a key architectural element of BlackBerry, have won the Ernest C. Manning Award Foundation's top award for their patented and remarkable successful Canadian Innovation.

They will receive this year's $100,000 Preston Manning Principal Award, sponsored by TransAlta Corporation in honour of Preston Manning.

Since 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation's annual awards program has encouraged and recognized leading Canadian innovators with more than $2.9 million in prize money.

This year's recipients, who will be honoured at the annual gala dinner Oct. 4 in Ottawa, will share a total of $145,000.

Lazaridis and Mousseau, both alumni of the University of Waterloo, got the idea for the BlackBerry Single Mailbox Integration during a brainstorming session over five years ago.

"There was this great need to be connected to the office," says Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO of RIM. "Messaging and wireless technologies are a perfect marriage."

"The challenge for us was to develop a single mailbox solution that connected to corporate e-mail and was end-to-end secure," says Mousseau, RIM's Director of Wireless Innovation.

The BlackBerry Single Mailbox Integration patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,219,694) relates to the system and method pioneered and employed by RIM in redirecting messaging information between a host computer system (such as an office PC or server) and a mobile communications device (such as a wireless handheld) while maintaining a seemingly common electronic address between the host system and mobile device.

Using this patented technology, BlackBerry connects in an apparently seamless manner with a user's existing e-mail account providing a wireless extension of the user's regular e-mail box.

In developing BlackBerry, RIM's team overcame the mailbox integration problems. They also equipped a pager-sized wireless handheld with an embedded wireless modem, an Intel 386 microprocessor, and integrated software.

RIM innovators have continued to file a range of patents. Their portfolio includes a patent that covers the BlackBerry handheld's curved, "QWERTY" keyboard and trackwheel that enable people to easily use their thumbs to type.

RIM launched the BlackBerry as an end-to-end, integrated wireless solution in 1999.

"RIM's BlackBerry has become an invaluable tool for maintaining a strong relationship with our clients in a highly competitive industry," says Mary Odsen, Chief Information Officer for Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, an international law firm with more than 700 attorneys

BlackBerry now flourishes in over 14,000 organizations across North America and Europe and is taking root in Asia Pacific. BlackBerry accounted for a substantial portion of the US$71.6 million in revenue that RIM generated in the first quarter of the company's fiscal year 2003.

RIM, whose awards include being named Company of the Year by the Branham Group, now employees over 2,000 people — most of them in Canada.

Lazaridis and Mousseau plan to share their winnings with worthy causes that will encourage the development of innovative minds in Canada.

Lazaridis will replenish engineering and science books in public schools and libraries in Windsor, Ont., where he grew up.

Mousseau will contribute to organizations such as the Integrated Centre for Optimal Learning — an institute that works to enhance the learning success of children and adults.

For more information about the award-winning BlackBerry platform, please visit www.blackberry.com or www.rim.com For media inquiries, contact Andrea Craig, Research In Motion, at (519)-888-7465 or e-mail: acraig@rim.net or Darcy Polito, Research In Motion, at (519)-888-7465 or email: dpolito@rim.net

For more information about the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, contact Donald Park, Executive Director, at (403)-645-8288 or e-mail: Don.Park@encana.com

Media Backgrounder

$100,000 Preston Manning Principal Award Sponsored by TransAlta Corporation in honour of Preston Manning Mike Lazaridis and Gary Mousseau, Research In Motion's BlackBerry™

Over five years ago, Mike Lazaridis and Gary Mousseau held a brainstorming session that led them to create the only kind of "berry" that flourishes in the corporate office environment.

Today, Research In Motion Limited's BlackBerry™ is the leading wireless e-mail solution for mobile professionals in more than 14,000 organizations across North America and Europe and is taking root in Asia Pacific.

Lazaridis founded Research In Motion (RIM) in 1984, after studying engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Mousseau, with a degree in mathematics and computer science from the U of Waterloo, joined RIM in 1991, bringing his expertise in transmitting packets of information over high-speed networks.

In the mid-1990s, RIM began focusing on pioneering concepts in wearable handheld wireless devices and systems that could allow two-way wireless e-mail.

"We found that there was a great need to be connected to e-mail while out of the office," Lazaridis says. "E-mail and wireless technologies are a perfect marriage."

However, wireless solutions at the time meant providing the mobile user with a special, separate mailbox — apart from their corporate e-mail — that could support e-mail, fax and text-to-voice services.

Having two separate e-mail addresses was a problem, Mousseau recalls. "People didn't know whether to reach users by sending e-mail to their desktop computers or wireless devices."

During one brainstorming session, Lazaridis and Mousseau grew frustrated over this need to have two separate e-mail accounts and the high costs of using multiple wireless providers as a possible end-to-end solution. They decided to focus RIM's efforts on developing an integrated, single-mailbox, end-to-end wireless data solution — one that met corporate standards for reliability and security.

Lazaridis and Mousseau invented and patented a method and the technology to solve the single mailbox challenge. This approach mirrored a corporate user's e-mail account, essentially making RIM's handheld an extension of the desktop inbox.

RIM also incorporated Triple DES encryption technology to meet the strict data security requirements of corporate IT departments.

Other innovations included the handheld's curved, "QWERTY" keyboard, and a continuously connected "push model" of e-mail delivery that automatically finds the user.

RIM packed into its pager-sized handheld an Intel 386 microprocessor with two megabytes of memory, integrated e-mail and organizer software, and an intuitive interface. RIM employees were the first to start using the new handheld, which immediately made the company more interactive and more productive, Mousseau says. "It turned e-mail into instant communication."

Lazaridis says that when RIM employees started carrying the handhelds everywhere, "we knew we had a winning product."

RIM worked closely with Lexicon Branding Inc., which had created several high-profile brands, to come up with a catchy name for RIM's new product category. The result of their efforts was "BlackBerry."

In 1999, RIM presented BlackBerry to the market as an integrated package that included desktop tools, server software, wireless airtime and advanced handhelds.

"BlackBerry is arguably the best wireless e-mail device in the world," wrote Alan Rieter, wireless Internet and mobile computing analyst for Computer World.

Giant Merrill Lynch & Co. has deployed thousands of BlackBerry handhelds and multiple Blackberry Enterprise Servers across its mobile workforce.

BlackBerry has provided the financial management and advisory firm with more timely and responsive internal and external communication, and improved individual and institutional client services. Other benefits include increased mobile workforce productivity by managing e-mail more effectively when out of the office, and optimized workgroup collaboration by staying connected.

"It's one of the few devices that can add time back to my day," John McKinley, Merrill Lynch's Chief Technology Officer, told Business Week.

In the first quarter of 2000, RIM's total revenues amounted to US$24.1 million — none of it from BlackBerry. By the third quarter in 2002, the company's revenues totalled US$70.9 million — eighty-two per cent of it generated by BlackBerry.

RIM now employs over 2,000 people, most of them in Canada. The company's main offices and research and development facilities are situated next to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University campuses. It has offices in Ottawa and Mississauga, as well as in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.

Locating RIM in Waterloo and in Canada has been important to seed the future growth of high-tech innovation and education, say the BlackBerry inventors. "We've got two world-class universities and a college in a 100,000-population city," Lazaridis says. "You can't do better than that, if you ask me."

RIM's founders and principals have donated more than $150 million to support education, research and training in Canada. In 2000, Lazaridis created the Perimeter Institute, a Canadian research facility dedicated to the study of fundamental theoretical physics — one of his passions since university days.

Since introducing BlackBerry, RIM has added many features. They include various handheld forms (palm-sized or pager-sized), software upgrades (such as wireless calendar synchronization), integration with Lotus®Domino™ (in addition to Microsoft Exchange), increased wireless network choice (GSM/GPRS, iDEN, CDMA/1XRTT, Mobitex, DataTAC), and support for numerous software applications (from attachment handling to customer relationship management).

RIM's new Java-based Blackberry handhelds support both wireless data and voice services. Other new features include an integrated speaker/microphone and removable/rechargeable battery.

Lazaridis, named in 2001 as one of the Top 10 CEOs by the National Post and Nation Builder of the Year by the Globe and Mail, says RIM's next goal is to expand Blackberry for a larger audience worldwide.

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation's recognition of the BlackBerry success story is a good example of what's possible for Canada in the new economy, Lazaridis notes. "Here is an innovation that was invented, developed and manufactured in Canada, and sold throughout the world."

Says Mousseau: "It validates a Canadian vision that Mike and I had for many years."

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

This year, Manning Innovation Awards presents $145,000 in prize money distributed among four leading Canadian innovators, as well as $20,000 among eight Canada-Wide Science Fair winners. Since 1982, the Foundation has awarded over $2.9 million to recognize Canadian innovators.

Media contacts (photos available):

Andrea Craig or Darcy Polito

Research In Motion

Phone: (519)-888-7465

Websites: www.blackberry.com or www.rim.com

Donald Park, Executive Director

Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

Phone: (403)-645-8288

Website: www.manningawards.ca