GE Plans to Open R&D Facility Near Detroit

June 29, 2009
General Electric Co. announced that it plans to open a $100 million advanced manufacturing and software technology center later this year in Van Buren Township, Mich., about 25 miles from Detroit.

The center will include a research and development facility that will house scientists and engineers who will develop "next-generation manufacturing technologies for GE's leading renewable-energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other high-technology products," according to the company. Their work will include development of composites, machining, inspection, casting and coating technologies for GE's aviation and energy businesses.

GE expects the facility to grow to more than 1,100 scientists, engineers and technologists over the next several years.

The R&D facility will be housed in a new $100 million, 100,000-square-foot building that GE will construct on the site. The software and IT employees will be located in existing office space, according to the company.

"To lead in manufacturing and create high-value jobs in the U.S., we must invest in technology and in people," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. "The scientists, engineers and technologists that will work and learn at this center will help GE develop innovative new software, processes and technologies to make our manufacturing businesses even more productive and competitive.

"Michigan is a great location for a technology center because of it s world-class engineering, technical talent and public officials who understand that investing now will create tomorrow's leading positions in information technology, clean energy and transportation."

The site also will house GE experts in software development, data architecture, networking, business intelligence and program management, who will develop software to support GE's business operations for several advanced technologies, such as the smart grid, according to the company. In addition, the site will serve as a training hub for GE information technology professionals.

The state of Michigan is providing more than $60 million in incentives over the next 12 years to support the center.

"No state is working harder than Michigan to diversify its economy and create new jobs," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said. "GE's decision to invest and grow in Michigan demonstrates we have the high-tech work force and competitive business climate necessary for global giants like GE to thrive in the 21st century."

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