National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

May 20, 2010 10:15 ET

Minister Blackburn Announces Economic Action Plan Investment in STAS Inc.

Funding to STAS will work toward commercializing innovative technology

SAGUENAY-LAC-ST-JEAN, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced a contribution of $241,250 to STAS Inc. from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program.

"Keeping Canada on the leading edge! This is why our government continues to invest in science and technology. These investments create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Minister Blackburn. "This project will help a firm in our region, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, to expand their business and stimulate our local economy."

Specializing in the development, fabrication and commercialization of new technologically advanced equipment for the aluminium industry, STAS is one of approximately 70 innovative businesses in the Saguenay-Lac St. Jean aluminium transformation cluster. The National Research Council Aluminium Technology Centre and Rio Tinto Alcan are also key players.

STAS recently signed a licensing agreement with the National Research Council that will allow the company to commercialize new semi-solid aluminium die-casting technology. This technology called SEED -- or Swirled Equilibrium Enthalpy Device technology -- was developed jointly by the Council and Rio Tinto Alcan. SEED technology is appealing because it can produce high quality, consistent and complex aluminium parts.

With the $241,250 contribution from the National Research Council, STAS will undertake targeted research and development to move SEED technology toward wider commercialization. Successful commercialization will allow STAS to diversify into global markets, particularly the automotive industry, where SEED can be used to produce lighter automotive components, leading to more energy efficient vehicles and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"Investing in science and technology is critical for developing highly skilled people and improving the long-term competitiveness of Canadian firms," said National Research Council President John McDougall. "That's why NRC is helping innovative Canadian businesses like STAS grow stronger, faster and bigger."

"STAS has benefited from the proximity of world-class research facilities like NRC's Aluminium Technology Centre. The new SEED technology, licensed from NRC and Rio Tinto Alcan, will help us enter new international markets, while building on our existing expertise," said STAS President and General Manager, Pierre Bouchard. "The contribution from NRC-IRAP is playing a key role in helping us work toward commercializing this promising technology."

About the National Research Council's and the Industrial Research Assistance Program

The National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program provides a range of both technical and business-oriented advisory services along with necessary financial support to qualified innovative Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The program is delivered by a field staff of 240 professionals in more than 100 communities across Canada. The National Research Council is committed to working with small- and medium-sized enterprises while they realize their full potential, turning knowledge and innovation into strategic opportunities, jobs and prosperity for all Canadians.

The Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan provided new resources of $200 million to Industrial Research Assistance Program over two years to support innovative Canadian firms. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

For more information (media only), please visit NRC-IRAP's Web site 

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications