High-level government officials and business representatives at the official inauguration of the Advanced Technology and Research Center
Underscoring its commitment to innovation, localization and technology transfer in the Middle East, General Electric Company (GE), yesterday, officially inaugurated its US$50 million Advanced Technology and Research Center (GEATRC) in the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), taking the total investment of GE in Qatar to over US$100 million.
The inauguration was attended by H.E Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of Emiri Diwan in the presence of over 100 high-level Government officials and business representatives, including Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of QSTP, and Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways.
In his key note speech, Dr. Tidu Maini, said: “We are delighted that GE is opening a major research and training centre, the only one of its type outside the US, which will encompass work from the mightiest engines that power super jumbo aircrafts to the state of the art diagnostics in cancer, a true homage and commitment to the power of research and technology by GE in Qatar. This is yet another example of how under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, with the support of leading Qatari Government figures, QSTP is able to work with global corporations to create innovative partnerships in Qatar that support advanced technology and research.”
The 20,000 sq m Advanced Technology and Research Center focuses on applied research and knowledge transfer in key areas that drive Qatar’s social and economic growth including aviation, oil & gas and healthcare. It will also deliver process and product enhancement for GE customers across the region.
Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of GE Middle East, Africa & Turkey explained: “The GE Advanced Technology and Research Center in QSTP leverages the thought leadership of GE highlighted by its four business divisions - GE Global Research, GE Oil & Gas, GE Aviation and GE Healthcare. It is a strong demonstration of our long-term commitment to Qatar and the region to drive applied research, engineering and development, education and training in key growth sectors.”
He added: “In a key initiative aimed at empowering Qatari nationals and driving their involvement in country-specific research and development initiatives, GE Oil & Gas will also double the number of employees at GEATRC, further underscoring the long-term commitment of GE to the country. In today’s competitive business landscape, the main determinants of operational efficiency are innovation and technological superiority, as has been demonstrated by GE’s Global Innovation Barometer. These will be the main drivers of GEATRC.”
Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is one of the primary beneficiaries of this training facility, and our staff are among the first to undergo training here. The Center’s presence in Doha ensures Qatar Airways’ employees are at the forefront of the latest training methods available, receiving instructions right here at the airline’s hub, further cementing the airline’s relationship with GE.”
“The GE 90 engine, the largest in the world, powers all of our Boeing 777 fleet of aircraft. The next-generation GEnx engines will power our Boeing 787 aircraft – which we are proud to be the launch customer of in the Middle East, when we take delivery of them next year,” added Al Baker.
Complementing Qatar’s National Vision 2030 to promote human, social, economic and environmental development, Advanced Technology and Research Center serves as a key component in the country’s concerted efforts to build a knowledge-based economy and be an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for its people.
GE Advanced Technology & Research Center
Designed to encourage collaboration and promote knowledge sharing, GEATRC includes five classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium, 14 engine/tooling bays in a 2,600 sq m aircraft engine learning center section, 490 square meters of lab space, 465 sq m of product display lobby, and a multi-media showcase and brand experience.
The opening of GEATRC is a significant leap in the company’s growth outlook for the entire Middle East, where GE has a presence that spans over eight decades. In Qatar, GE has been providing advanced gas turbines, compressors and other equipment to support the country’s natural gas and LNG industries for over 35 years.
Recognized as a global leader in business innovation, GE has increased its investment in research & development to an estimated US$5.8 billion for 2011 compared with US$4.9 billion in 2010, with R&D investments recording an average annual growth of 10 percent in the past ten years. Today, the company holds 2,350 patents and has over 10,000 managers trained to innovate.
GE’s Aviation provides education and advanced training in jet engine maintenance. With world-class technical training materials, fully configured engines and international subject matter expert instructors, the facility combines hands-on training with digital on-line capabilities. Training is offered on several GE engine models including the GEnx, which will be operated by Qatar Airway’s on their 30 Boeing 787 aircraft.
The GEATRC offers training sessions focused on overall familiarization of airline, flight-line and maintenance crews, line maintenance, borescope inspection, trouble shooting, diagnostics monitoring and fleet management. Additionally, it provides technical and mechanical services to airline customers through GE’s On-Wing Support program.
The engine bays are configured for realistic hands-on technical training, with customers having the option of registering for classes through a dedicated online digital catalog or through a customer service representative. In addition to a fulltime instructor at the facility, Field Service Engineers and Customer Technical Education Center personnel offer technical training to customers as guest professors.
GE Healthcare is partnering with Qatar Foundation to enable excellence in research and education that will transform the country into a global hub for healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship and research. The new learning center will demonstrate the latest advances in the patient healthcare journey, and offers education and training on implementing cutting-edge clinical IT solutions from GE Healthcare and its partners. The center will focus primarily on mammography in line with the increase in breast cancer in the region.
GE Oil & Gas is focusing on R&D of new technologies to drive greater efficiency and environmentally-friendly deployment of Qatar’s rich oil and natural gas reserves. Special attention is placed on the application of advanced turbomachinery within Gas-to-Liquid, Natural Gas Liquefaction and Gas Re-injection applications. These will be complemented by customer training initiatives. GE has added a group of high caliber researchers to the center, who are already working on turbomachinery, services engineering and field issue resolution.
GE Global Research will pursue applied research in areas of technology that fulfills the needs of the regional economy by leveraging GE’s technology leadership and collaboration with leading regional universities and research centers. Main areas of interest include oil & gas and power generation machinery as well as clean energy applications.
In Qatar, GE recently opened the Global Water Sustainability Center as a partnership between ConocoPhillips & GE Water to research and develop innovative water solutions for petroleum & petrochemical sectors, as well as municipal and agricultural use. GE has long-term partnerships with RasGas Company Limited, and operates the Qatar Service Center, a center of excellence that serves as a technology hub for the region in Ras Laffan.
GE, a long-term partner in the growth of the country, serves the energy, water technologies and healthcare businesses, which in turn, contribute to overall economic and social growth. Today, the company supports the country’s diversified growth goals through its three offices and over 300 employees.