Research & Innovation

Colas Canada and our operating companies, as part of the Colas worldwide network, have some of most renowned technical expertise in our industry. Colas’ research and innovation network spreads across the globe, consisting of technical teams and researchers spread over five continents.

Innovations which anticipate the road of tomorrow

The innovations of the Colas Group are implemented on roads all over the world, and take into account the specific local conditions regarding regulations, climate, traffic and the needs of our clients, users and our staff in the field. Our research teams strive to develop new products and processes that change the way we meet the needs of our clients today and how we can exceed these in the future.

Our focus

Optimizing current products… because of constantly changing needs: researchers, engineers and technicians are improving our products and manufacturing and laying techniques.

And designing new ones: one of our research priorities at Colas is to anticipate the requirements of the market and propose solutions to the specific problems facing clients, particularly those relating to local geographical issues, by satisfying performance requirements (reliability, durability, safety) and worksite constraints (weather conditions, construction rates).

The major aims of our research is to: 

  • reduce costs by recycling materials,
  • streamline binder manufacturing processes,
  • meet new road user needs,
  • and, of course, develop environmentally-friendly products.

One new product every year

The Group gives priority to applied research which creates marketable products. Each team is therefore given a project with precise objectives: for example, developing low noise surfacing which reduce vehicle rolling noise in order to improve road user comfort and the quality of life of residents, or developing techniques that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO2).

The outcome of this policy is that the Group attempts to develop at least one new product every year. As the development cycle for a new product lasts on average three to five years, it may anticipate the needs of the market (as was the case for the new generation of low-noise mixes), or meet a specific customer requirement, as was the case with the development of environmentally clean tack coats.

A priority: sustainable development 

Preserving the environment is one of the Group’s priorities. It is part of the Group’s comprehensive policy in favor of sustainable development. Research is based on the principle of continual improvement. It involves the entire production, construction and maintenance chain from the extraction of raw materials to the end of the pavement’s service life.

The research programs focus on the following:

  • reducing the consumption of natural resources
  • reducing energy consumption
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • increasing the recycling of industrial and worksite waste
  • developing environmentally-friendly products and techniques

Campus For Science and Techniques

Colas delivers these innovations through our network that includes the Colas Campus for Science and Techniques (CST), the leading private research center in the road industry. Based in Magny-les-Hameaux near Paris, France, The CST is home to teams of R&D engineers and technicians whose expertise and talent for research is dedicated to the subsidiaries. Approximately 80 permanent staff at the CST are involved on a daily basis in designing, implementing and monitoring the Colas Group’s products and techniques.

The CST is one of the mainsprings for the exchange of knowledge and know-how between researchers, academics, industrial sites and the teams responsible for construction works. Its tasks and facilities make the Scientific and Technical Campus the only private research centre of its kind in the world.

The Scientific and Technical Campus (CST) has the following certifications: ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 (Quality – Safety – Environment).