Alcoa launches ALUMINIUM INNOVATES AT HOME design competition



    MONTREAL, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Alcoa Canada announces the launch of
ALUMINIUM INNOVATES AT HOME, a design competition being organized in
cooperation with the Association of Industrial Designers of Québec (ADIQ) and
the Québec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade
(MDEIE). Industrial designers from across Québec are invited to develop a
functional item made primarily of aluminum and intended for domestic use in
the entry area of a house.
    Alcoa will award an amount of $5000 to each of the five finalists
selected to enable them to complete and present concept design sketches. The
competition winner will receive a grand prize valued at $25 000 and enjoy
access to the services of Alcoa Innovation(*) to pursue work on the winning
design and help bring it to market.
    The official competition launch took place at Darling Foundry in Montréal
on September 16th at an evening cocktail organized by Alcoa for competition
partners and some 100 guests from Québec's industrial design community.
    During the event, François Racine, Manager, Business Development with
Alcoa Canada, underscored the importance of the competition for developing
Québec talent and innovative new uses for aluminum in a spirit of sustainable
development. "Light, multi-purpose and readily recyclable any number of times,
aluminum is a material of choice which has enjoyed a place in the home for
many years now."
    Mario Gagnon, President of the Association of Industrial Designers of
Québec appealed to professional industrial designers across the province to
rise to this inspirational challenge and put both their talent and their
creativity to work.
    "The Government of Québec is proud to support this competition which
underlines the importance of design as an essential component of the
innovation process. This initiative is also in perfect keeping with the design
and innovation thrust of Québec's Research and Innovation Strategy. By
focusing on industrial design, companies add value to their products, boost
their competitiveness in the marketplace and enhance their brand image,"
pointed up Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and
Export Trade.

    Aluminum as a people-friendly material

    The entry area of any house is the first place to strike the eyes of
occupants and visitors alike. Area layout and furnishings are therefore of the
utmost importance.
    Designers who elect to take part in the ALUMINIUM INNOVATES AT HOME
competition will be required to propose an item made primarily of aluminum
which is functional, innovative and intended for use in the entry area of a
house: entry hall, portico, courtyard or any other competition-relevant space.
Concepts presented must be aesthetically pleasing, easy to build and ingenious
from the standpoint of functionality. They must also incorporate the
principles of ecodesign and have demonstrated market potential.
    Designers have until December 1st to submit Stage 1 entry documents. The
competition panel of judges will be chaired by Maurice Cloutier, Director,
School of Design at UQAM, and include the following members: Carole Paré,
Senior Manager, Marketing-Products, Strategies and Services with Rona; Valérie
Saint-Laurent, member of the Board of Directors of ADIQ and industrial
designer with Eclairage Quattro; Gilles Dufour, Manager, Technology and
Business Development with Alcoa Canada; and, François Racine, Manager,
Business Development with Alcoa Canada.
    The names of the five finalists and their concepts will be unveiled
sometime in February 2009. The grand prize winner will be announced at the
2009 Montréal International Interior Design Show (SIDIM) in the company of
competition runners-up. Concepts presented by all finalists, including the
grand prize winner, will be exhibited at SIDIM 2009, the object being to
provide the general public with the opportunity to discover the ingenuity and
creativity of local Québec designers.
    Professional industrial designers interested in obtaining further
competition details are asked to log on to one or other of the following
websites: Alcoa (www.alcoa.com/canada/fr/home.asp), ADIQ (www.adiq.ca) or
MDEIE (www.mdeie.gouv.qc.ca/design)

    About Alcoa

    In Québec, Alcoa Canada Primary Metals (ACPM) is comprised of the
Baie-Comeau, Bécancour and Deschambault smelters, as well as the Bécancour Rod
Plant. These four plants have an annual production capacity of over one
million metric tons of ingots, castings, billets and aluminum rods. ACPM
employs over 3,300 people and its activities generate over $1.5 billion in
economic spin-offs annually in the province.
    Alcoa is a major, fully integrated economic and social partner in the
communities where it is present. Given its social commitment and strong sense
of belonging to these communities, Alcoa wishes to contribute, in a
sustainability perspective, to their quality as communities. Further
information is available at www.alcoa.com/canada/en/home.asp and
www.aluminumispeople.com.
    Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, through its growing position 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 including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and
forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa(R) wheels, fastening systems, precision and
investment castings, structures and building systems. The Company has
97,000 employees in 34 countries and has been named one of the top most
sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.

    (*)Alcoa Innovation is a non-profit organization set up by Alcoa Canada in
cooperation with Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) and Centre
québécois de recherche et de développement de l'aluminium (CQRDA). The mission
of the partnership is to support Québec-based SMEs by:

    
    - Favouring the development of innovative products which entail the
      processing of aluminum;
    - Promoting the use of aluminum in applications which further sustainable
      development; and
    - Supporting research and development initiatives designed to enhance
      greater public access to and knowledge of aluminum products and the
      uses of aluminum.
    




For further information:

For further information: Alcoa Canada: Lysane Martel, Manager,
Communications, Alcoa Canada, (514) 906-2537, lysane.martel@alcoa.com; ADIQ:
Noémi Marquis, Association of Industrial Designers of Québec, (514) 287-6531,
info@adiq.ca; MDEIE: Denis Audibert, Coordinator, Industrial Design, Ministry
of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, (418) 691-5698 extension
4890, Denis.Audibert@mdeie.gouv.qc.ca; About the competition: Kilicom Public
Relations, (514) 845-8222: Marie-Josée Gauvin ext. 222, mjgauvin@kilicom.com;
Stéphanie Quirion ext. 223, squirion@kilicom.com; Sophie Sabourin, ext. 221,
ssabourin@kilicom.com

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