General Electric Company plans to invest another $500 million in China for research and development, including regional R&D hubs to serve the Chinese market. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt announced the investment today, as part of a $2 billion plan that includes joint ventures in technology, energy, financial services, and transportation.
Immelt (pictured left) says GE plans to commit $500 million through 2012 to enhance its R&D capabilities in China and establish what it calls customer innovation centers to better serve the west, north, central and south China markets. He says the “customer innovation centers will add more than 1,000 new R&D, marketing and application engineers to work more closely with customers and partners to advance development and delivery of GE products and technology.”
The centers are expected to focus on product development and engineering in rural health care, renewable and clean energy, smart grid, energy-efficient lighting, rail, and aviation. The candidate cities for the first centers are Chengdu, Shenyang and Xi’an. GE already has R&D facilities in Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuxi.
Immelt also pledged to invest more than $1.5 billion to fund new joint ventures with Chinese state-owned enterprises in key high-technology sectors. He unveiled a series of partnerships with Chinese organizations covering locomotive propulsion, rail signaling, smart grid technologies, power distribution and metro solutions.
* * *