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Applied technologies

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Jean-René Roy
Vice-president and general manager, ABB-Bomem
Energy in all its forms

ABB Bomem Inc. designs, manufactures and markets analytical systems for the oil, chemical, life sciences, aluminum, semiconductor, remote monitoring and aerospace sectors.

Jean-René Roy
  • Vice-president and general manager, ABB Bomem
  • Master’s degree in surface chemistry, Laval University
  • Joined ABB Bomem in 1997

ABB Bomem
  • ABB is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland
  • Production exported: over 95%
  • Number of employees: 210 at ABB Bomem (ABB Group has 120,000 employees in 100 countries)
  • 2008 sales: over CA$35 billion (ABB Group)
  • Annual growth: more than 15%
  • Total R&D; investments: CA$6 million
  • Listed on the Zurich,Dow Jones and Stockholm stock markets

The company specializes in state-of-the-art infrared spectroscopy technology, which is used to analyze solids, liquids and gases.

The company’s products are also used to measure key process parameters such as gasoline blends and greenhouse gas concentrations and to provide data designed to improve the effectiveness of the next generation of weather forecasting satellites.

A partner of choice, ABB provides analytical products to major aluminum producers and space agencies, as well as to oil and specialized chemical companies.

ABB Bomem was formed in 1999, when Bomem was acquired by ABB, the global engineering giant. Back in the early 1970s, visionary ABB Bomem employee Henry Buijs, one of Bomem’s founders, became one of the world’s first engineers and physicists to develop a technology that accurately measures the state of the ozone layer.

A new generation in action

Currently in his early 40s, Jean-René Roy was born and raised in Port Daniel, near the Baie des Chaleurs in Quebec’s Gaspé region. He describes Port Daniel as the most beautiful village in the area, and it still holds a special place in his heart.

The spirit of entrepreneurship runs deep in Jean-René’s family, which owned a number of cinemas in the region. «I did everything there was to do there,working as a projectionist, customer service agent and manager,» he says. He reluctantly left the Gaspé region to pursue his education in Quebec City; he went back to the Gaspé region and then returned to Quebec City at age 16 to complete his secondary studies. In addition to teaching him the value of independence, Jean-René’s experience also gave him a newfound maturity, earning him a position on the company’s executive committee at the tender age of 28.

Chemist and manager

Jean-René Roy is now ABB Bomem’s general manager, although he did not study business administration: he’s a chemist by training, but prefers airports to research labs: «Nearly 95% of our clients are outside Canada,» he notes.

His chemistry background enables him to quickly size up his clients’ needs. ABB-Bomem also helps its clients to optimize their industrial manufacturing processes.

Quebec City’s charms

ABB Bomem was founded in Quebec City-and plans to stay there.The proximity of the Valcartier Canadian Forces base is a key factor since two of Bomem’s employees worked there before founding the company. But there’s more to it than that: «The finest optical and chemical experts in Canada are right here. Plus our clients are impressed by the fact that a North American city can have so much European charm. They’re completely blown away by how beautiful Quebec City is.»

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