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August 29, 2005

Alcoa Foundation Awards $300,000 Grant to Leifur Eiriksson Foundation for Iceland/U.S Scholarship Program

REYKJAVIK, Iceland & PITTSBURGH, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 29, 2005--Alcoa Foundation announced today that it has invested US$300,000 in a scholarly exchange program between Iceland and the United States that will be administered by the Leifur Eiriksson Foundation to advance study and research between the two nations. The Leifur Eiriksson Foundation will begin accepting applications for the graduate-level Alcoa Foundation Scholarship during the upcoming academic year.

"As Alcoa continues its progress in building the greenfield aluminum smelter in East Iceland, Alcoa Foundation will continue to support key initiatives here," said Tomas Mar Sigurdsson, managing director, Alcoa Fjardaal. "Through Alcoa Foundation's investment in this scholarship program, students in American and Icelandic universities will share their knowledge, break down barriers that distance builds, and enrich the scientific and artistic life in both countries."

The Leifur Eiriksson Foundation, established and governed by the Central Bank of Iceland, the Icelandic Government and the University of Virginia, launched its Web site,, this month. Graduate school students studying in Iceland and the United States will be able to access the applications for the Alcoa Foundation Scholarship and other graduate-level scholarships on the newly launched site. The scholarships will cover the cost of graduate school tuition plus living expenses.

"We are grateful to Alcoa Foundation for realizing the importance of this program and for enriching the educational opportunities for students in the United States and Iceland," said Steingrimur Hermannsson, chairman of the Leifur Eiriksson Foundation Board of Trustees. The funding for the scholarship program began with a surcharge from the sale of limited edition coins in Iceland and the United States commemorating Leifur Eiriksson's discovery of North America about the year 1000.

The grant is part of Alcoa Foundation's commitment to investing in the quality of life of Alcoa communities worldwide. This is the second grant this year that Alcoa Foundation has awarded in Iceland. In February, Alcoa Foundation awarded a $75,000 grant to the Health Institute of East Iceland so it could purchase state-of-the-art equipment for x-ray processing.

Alcoa in Iceland

Alcoa's smelter project in Iceland will represent one of the largest private-sector investments in the country's history and one of the most modern aluminum production facilities in the world. It will directly employ a number of people, create many more jobs in supporting industries and service organizations, and help put the economy in eastern Iceland on a more stable foundation. Alcoa Fjardaal, which is expected to start production in April 2007, will incorporate lessons and technology developed over the past 20 years to promote sustainability and minimize environmental impact.

About Alcoa Foundation

Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in the countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa's ACTION and Bravo! programs which recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit under Community.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at