Alstom creates an innovation centre for sustainable mobility solutions in the Greater Montreal area
The centre's mandate is to develop the future platforms for hybrid, battery or hydrogen propulsion, emitting low or zero emissions
4 July 2022 – Alstom announces the creation of a new innovation centre for green rail mobility solutions, to be located at its Americas headquarters in St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, in Canada. This was a key commitment made by the group at the time of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, completed in January 2021. The innovation centre's main mission will be to develop the future platforms for green hybrid, battery or hydrogen propulsion technologies specifically tailored to the North American rail freight and passenger market, and in doing so meet the sector's decarbonisation needs. It will be led by Éric Rondeau, who has a proven track record in the field of transport electrification and recently worked as senior strategic advisor to Investissement Québec International and the Quebec Ministry of Economy and Innovation to develop and deploy the Quebec battery industry. The centre's installation in St-Bruno will ensure unprecedented synergy through its proximity to the 500+ Alstom engineers currently working on the site, as well as to dedicated prototyping facilities. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality equipment, enabling it to optimise its activities to develop future green propulsion platforms. Depending on its mandates, the centre could create up to approximately 80 jobs within a few years. The centre's engineers will work closely with key players in Quebec's research and innovation sector, as well as with industrial partners in the Quebec battery and hydrogen industry. In particular, the centre will work with the Hydrogen Research Institute (HRI) of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) on the preconditions for the success of the refuelling and operating ecosystem for hydrogen propulsion. It will also participate in McGill University's Sustainable Growth Initiative, a think tank aimed at providing companies and governments with innovative solutions to accelerate the green transition in transport.
"Alstom offers the most comprehensive range of green solutions to support its customers' environmental efforts. We will now expand our capacity with products specifically tailored to the geographic, climatic and regulatory realities of the North American market. Quebec's assets and business environment, combined with our design and engineering expertise here in St-Bruno, provide us with a unique environment to innovate and grow" said Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas.
"Unlike Europe or Asia, the rail network in Canada and the US is barely 1% electrified. It is used by 27,000 diesel locomotives every day, which is a significant proportion of the carbon footprint of our companies. Efforts to make this mode of transport greener must be stepped up, in particular by providing public decision-makers and our customers with proven electric propulsion technologies. It will be this innovation centre's role to develop these new innovative platforms or to adapt them to meet the challenges of the region,” indicated Éric Rondeau.
Alstom is the world leader in green innovation for the rail transport sector. It employs 1,700 people in Quebec and its headquarters for the Americas are located in St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec. It supplies rolling stock, signalling, services and infrastructure solutions and turnkey systems for REM, companies like the Société de transport de Montréal and Exo, as well as Canada's largest cities and the major railways. Alstom is proud to be a Canadian player and has been certified "Top Employer 2022" in Canada by the Top Employers Institute.
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