Innovation and Expertise

Case Study
Alcoa Innovation supports the growth of Quebec aluminum expertise


Supporting innovation to create wealth  


Lightweight, flexible, easy to recycle and non-corrodible, aluminum is being used for a growing number of applications. In collaboration with other businesses and some government organizations, we are focusing on innovation to develop our markets. Québec boasts world-renowned expertise in the aluminum industry, and its critical mass of operations in aluminum production, processing and research have made it a bona fide hub for this industry.


Alcoa Innovation

Alcoa Innovation is a partnership created in Québec in 2008, along with the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) and the Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l’aluminium (CQRDA), to help develop the aluminum industry and market in a sustainable and foundational way. Alcoa Innovation’s mission is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the Québec aluminum industry by promoting the development of innovative products focused on the transformation of aluminum; stimulating the use of aluminum that promotes sustainable development; and promoting the implementation of technology through projects. In 2012, Alcoa Innovation launched INNOVER, an information newsletter (in French only), to move closer to public and industrial decision-makers.


Setting the Table for Aluminum design contest

Last year, Alco Canada also held its second industrial design competition in partnership with l’Association des designers industriels du Québec (ADIQ) and the ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation. With a theme of “Setting the Table for Aluminum,’’ the contest invited designers to use the properties of aluminum as inspiration to create objects associated with the art of the table, if not the table itself. Such was the winning concept by Marie-Josée Laberge and Mario Primeau of Primeau Designers who created the Balcony eating area for urban dwellers.


New aluminum industry cluster

In order to develop and share expertise and innovative applications of aluminum, and especially to double the volume of aluminum processed in Québec over the next decade, the members of the Aluminium Association of Canada, including Alcoa Canada Global Primary Metals, established the Québec aluminium industry cluster (QAIC) in 2012. The mission of the cluster is to bring together the various Québec organizations involved in aluminum production, usage and R&D to create a Québec synergy that will promote training, technological development . . . and processing!


Our Québec plants as benchmarks

Our Québec plants regularly welcome outside guests. From students eager to learn more about metallurgy to partners and members of the community, these visits are a great opportunity for us to showcase our facilities and highlight the expertise and passion of our people for what they do best.


Expertise: an exportable Québec resource

Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products employees enjoy a solid reputation throughout North America and beyond. Over the last few years, nearly 100 of our employees from Baie-Comeau, Bécancour and Deschambault have gone abroad for as long as 24 months to share best practices with their new colleagues at the Fjardaál Smelter in Iceland and at the anode plant in Mosjøen, Norway. The latter in turn came to Québec to be trained on our fully operational equipment while theirs was still being installed or tested.


The expertise or our employees is currently being applied to the megaproject for the construction of an industrial complex in Raz Az Zawr, Saudi Arabia, announced in 2009. This project, valued at more than $10 billion, includes a bauxite mine, an alumina refinery, a smelter and a rolling mill. Ma’aden is Alcoa’s Saudi partner in the initiative (read the press release).