In B.C.’s Lower Columbia Region, an innovative partnership is supporting the development of a cluster of advanced materials and metallurgy companies, taking advantage of opportunities to reduce waste and create new value.
Metal Tech Alley is an economic development initiative started by the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation with the goal of supporting the development of a cluster of industry and technology companies in the Trail region. Teck Trail Operations is supporting the initiative as an industry partner. This partnership aims to capitalize on over 100 years of metallurgical expertise in the Kootenays, established supply chains, as well as the region’s livability and access to nature.
Metal Tech Alley brings together leaders from industry, research groups, nonprofits, post-secondary institutions and government to spearhead business opportunities in digital fabrication, advanced materials and metallurgy, industrial recycling, the industrial Internet of Things, and big data technology.
Metal Tech Alley aims to build a regional circular economy, where waste is designed out, and where value is created throughout the product life cycle. The circular economy is based on the four “R”s: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, with the goal of keeping both products and value in the economy.
“Transitioning to an Industrial Circular Economy is more than good business sense—it’s a necessity for manufacturers to remain competitive in today’s evolving landscape,” says Tim Grouette, Executive Director, Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation.
Key members of Metal Tech Alley include Teck’s Trail Operations, Fenix Advanced Materials, Selkirk College, Kootenay Association for Science and Technology, and industrial Internet of Things hub i4C. These organizations support research and development, commercialization, and production of advanced technologies. Metal Tech Alley is currently planning to host an Industrial Circular Economy conference (ICE 2021) in June 2021, a hybrid virtual/in-person conference that will bring together business leaders and experts in the field to explore new opportunities.
Metal Tech Alley members are innovating to realize new business opportunities and address global sustainability challenges. At Teck Trail Operations, recycling programs for lead batteries, zinc alkaline batteries, and cathode ray tube glass are a strong example of circular principles at work. Teck works to actively support studies on the refining of intermediate products from Trail Operations to seed new business opportunities.
Fenix Advanced Materials is another company improving the circularity of metals manufacturing. Fenix sources refined cadmium and indium from Teck Trail Operations and produces ultrahigh purity forms of these metals for the manufacture of semiconductor-based devices.
Metal Tech Alley is creating the collaborative opportunities to turn waste from one process into fuel for another and, by doing so, create new value while reducing environmental impacts.
Learn more at metaltechalley.com.