US technology giant General Electric has announced plans to open its first European research and development centre in Germany.
In a joint press conference, Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt announced that GE will invest $52 million over the next five years to locate a 150-scientist research facility on the Garching campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
The facility will be part of GE Global Research, which conducts advanced research and development for all of GE’s businesses.
‘Germany is a world-class source of intellectual capital, home to over 8,000 GE employees and hundreds of our most valued customers,’ Immelt said. ‘It is a logical choice to be the site of our first technology centre in Europe, bringing our advanced technology development closer to our many customers here and throughout Europe.’
The Europe technology centre will concentrate on development projects in areas such as renewable energy, medical imaging, and materials science. The centre will also develop advanced applications of materials and lighting technology for the automotive industry.
GE plans to start construction of the new centre in the first quarter of 2003, with the research facility beginning operations early in 2004. The plan calls for approximately 25 researchers to be hired within the next year, increasing to 150 by 2005.
The Europe technology centre will be the fourth GE research and development facility worldwide, joining the sites in Niskayuna, New York, Bangalore, India and Shanghai, China. The Global Research headquarters in upstate New York was founded in 1900 and was the first industrial research lab in the United States.