LAC-SAINT-JEAN, QUEBEC, Feb 11, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The National Research Council Canada (NRC), on behalf of Ministers Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Canada Economic Development), together with the province of Quebec, today announced a collaborative agreement with aluminium transformation business network Reseau Trans-Al.
To support this collaboration, the Government of Canada will be providing up to $94,500 in in-kind contributions via the NRC Aluminium Technology Centre. More specifically, this in-kind contribution means access to highly trained scientists and specialized equipment such as a scanning electronic microscope, advanced laser technology, and other emerging forming and joining techniques. The Government of Quebec will be providing a financial contribution of up to $166,097.
"Right now, heavy investments by large companies help the aluminum industry strongly position itself. Our government supports Reseau Trans-Al so all transformers in that sector will jump in the wagon. We must leverage forces of the Canadian economy as well as the competitive advantage that Reseau Trans-Al made possible through technology and expertise sharing," said the Honorable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State for Agriculture, on behalf of Minister Goodyear.
This collaborative agreement is also supported by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, which has contributed $235,597 in non-repayable funding to Trans-Al Network Inc. for the 2009-2011 period. Provided through the Business and Regional Growth program, this assistance is enabling the organization to, among other things, foster the development of Quebec's aluminium industry, update the information in the latest edition of the Canadian Aluminium Transformation Technology Roadmap and undertake a strategic planning exercise (2010-2013).
"This agreement is sure to help companies in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean's aluminium sector expand their business activities, which will directly benefit our economy," added the Honorable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development.
Reseau Trans-Al is a business network for Quebec-based aluminium transformation organizations, committed to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses operating in the aluminium transformation sector. With over 200 members, Reseau Trans-Al is the largest network of its kind in Canada and is one of approximately 70 innovative businesses in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean aluminium transformation cluster. The NRC Aluminium Technology Centre is also a key player within this cluster.
As a result of this agreement, members of the Reseau Trans-Al will seek to increase the use of new aluminium fabrication methods, thereby increasing competitiveness, and developing a more thorough understanding of aluminium transformation technologies. Through working closely with industry, NRC will increase its ability to respond to the technology and research needs of the aluminium transformation market. Using NRC expertise and infrastructure, Reseau Trans-Al members will be able to undertake targeted R&D.
"Investing in science and technology is critical for developing highly skilled people and improving the long-term competitiveness of Canadian firms," said NRC President John McDougall. "That's why NRC is helping Canada's aluminium transformation industry grow more competitive."