American multinational General Electric (GE) has invested R500-million in South Africa in its GE Africa Innovation Centre in Rosebank, northern Johannesburg.
The 2 700m² facility is the 10th innovation hub set up globally, but a first for GE in Africa. It has been certified as a green building and to support local business, it was 90% designed, built and executed in the country.
See this message from Thomas Konditi, the CEO of GE South Africa:
It houses GE’s innovation across Africa within its key business sectors such as aviation, energy, healthcare, oil and gas, power and transport and will serve as the new headquarters for GE Healthcare.
“The cutting edge facility boasts an Experience and Exploration Centre, coffee shop and catering facilities, agile workspaces, Learning and Development Centre, Innovation Ideation and Collaboration Centre, as well as a GE Prototyping Laboratory and sustainable Healthcare Customer Experience Centre,” the company said.
President of GE Africa Jay Ireland spoke of the importance of innovation. “Innovation is shaping how we see the world and how we participate in its development today and into the future.
“We are looking to impact and enhance the career aspirations of over 100 engineers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds,” Ireland added. “These are young people who will come through the centre and share their innovative solutions while learning from some of the best GE minds in their respective fields.”
The Healthcare Experience Centre duplicates various areas found in hospitals so that users can learn about technologies in the operating theatre and intensive care unit, cardiology, oncology, maternal and infant care, general radiology and after sales service.
It features virtual and augmented reality displays and a range of installed equipment so people are exposed to an interconnected and efficient hospital catering to primary care settings and premium facilities. The centre’s eight permanent work stations allow hands-on clinical education and applications training.
“This initiative will play a significant role in reducing the infant and maternal mortality rate in the province,” the Gauteng health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, said at the opening.
Good place to invest
The South African government welcomed the centre. It demonstrated that Africa, and South Africa, were viable investment destinations, it said, and showed GE’s long-term commitment to finding innovative solutions to Africa’s infrastructure and healthcare challenges.
“Space has also been allocated for collaborative projects and solution prototyping with Transnet partnering with GE on various rail localisation projects,” the Cabinet said. “The centre also aspires to support the development of small businesses capable of supplying the local market and potentially GE’s global supply chains.”
South Africa.info reporter