General Electric to set up new Israeli R&D center

The Haifa R&D center will do basic research in medical devices, clean energy, and water technologies.

General Electric (NYSE: GE), one of the world's largest companies, will open its a multidisciplinary R&D center in Israel, its eighth R&D center in the country, at an investment of $3-5 million. The R&D center will engage in research in medical devices, water, and clean energy.

The R&D center will be set up in Haifa, near the center of GE subsidiary GE Healthcare, which has hundreds of employees who work on medical imaging systems.

GE currently has 450 employees at seven centers in Israel, out of the company's total global workforce of 30,000. GE has a market cap of $194 billion. The other Israeli centers focus on specific products, while the new R&D center in Haifa will conduct more basic and general research.

GE will hire 12 researchers when the new R&D center is opened. It will be headed by Oded Meirav, who has been VP business development at GE Global Research Center for the past four years. He was responsible for establishing GE's collaborations with Israeli companies, such as medical devices companies InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd., WideMed Ltd. (TASE:WDMD), DeepBreeze Ltd., and Arineta Ltd.; with Shai Agassi's electric car venture Better Place LLC; and with cleantech companies Desalitech Ltd., Emefcy Ltd., Solaredge Ltd., GridON Ltd., and Winflex Ltd.; and with water companies incubator Kinrot Technology Ventures.

One of GE's goals in setting up the new center is to establish partnerships with Israeli high-tech companies and academe. "Israel has a rich history of innovation and scientific discovery, says GE Global Research VP advanced technologies Michael Idelchik. "With the establishment of the new R&D center, we will be in a better position to build a close relationship with the Israeli technology community and identify new technologies that could become part of our portfolio."

The research team will focus on renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency technologies. It will also work on water monitoring, purification, wastewater treatment, brackish water and seawater desalination technology; and in healthcare, on non-invasive medical devices, advanced diagnostic tools, and medical navigation and guidance systems.

The R&D center's researchers will collaborate with GE Capital's life sciences and energy funds, which invest in innovative technologies.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 13, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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