Alstom establishes an innovation centre for green rail mobility solutions to be located at its Americas headquarters in St-Bruno-de-Montarville, situated in the Greater Montreal, Canada.
The main mission of the innovation centre 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.
The centre’s installation in St-Bruno will ensure unprecedented synergy through its proximity to the more than 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.
The centre 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. “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,” Éric Rondeau said.
The innovation centre was a key commitment made by the group at the time of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, completed in January 2021.