Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed today a budget announcement of $50 million for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont.

"It's extremely important to underline just how essential the work being done here is, not just for Canada but for the entire world," said Trudeau. 

"The investment we're announcing today will strengthen the Perimeter Institute's position as a world-leading research centre in helping advance Canada's role as a leader in the global scientific community."

Trudeau's visit to the think-tank was met with much anticipation: a crush of media and spectators, and even a high-profile video welcome from star theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. 

Two hundred high school students, most of them young women, filled the upper levels of the Perimeter Institute lobby for the announcement.

They were at the institute as part of a program aimed at "inspiring future women in science," said Bardish Chagger, the minister of small business and MP for Waterloo. 

"It's a chance for these women to meet and speak to successful women scientists, to discuss challenges, to find mentoring, which we all know is so important," said Chagger.

The $50 million in federal funding, spread over five years, was first announced in Trudeau's 2016 budget. 

It was a continuation of funding received in the past and is supposed to help "strengthen its position as a world-leading research centre for theoretical physics."

Trudeau was joined by Perimeter Institute founder Mike Lazaridis, as well as Kirsty Duncan, the federal science minister.  

Trudeau was also in southern Ontario on Thursday. He toured Fanshawe College in London and Polycon Industries, an auto-parts maker, in Guelph.