GE invests $1bn in innovation, healthcare and energy partnership initiatives supporting kingdom's Vision 2020
- Saudi Arabia: Sunday, September 30 - 2012 at 16:49
- PRESS RELEASE
Building on eight decades of partnerships in Saudi Arabia, GE announced a $1bn investment commitment in line with the kingdom's Vision 2020 and Ninth Development Plan to diversify the economy, strengthen manufacturing capabilities, and rapidly build human resources.
Announcing the investment, GE's Vice Chairman John Rice said, "Today's investment is the culmination of multiple strategic partnerships and initiatives that GE has worked on with key ministries, customers and academic institutions over the years. As the Kingdom enters a new realm of growth under the visionary guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, we look forward to this investment making a positive difference to the socio-economic progress of the country and the people. It is a demonstration of our commitment to work and partner on things that matter."
Rice said, "With this investment, GE will promote innovation and human capital development which in turn strengthens the country's manufacturing capability and supply chain in healthcare and energy. We are committed to work in partnership with key ministries and customers to support the Saudi Vision of boosting the country's competitiveness and building a knowledge-based economy. Today, we live in a world where multi-way partnerships can better unlock potential; empower a strong local workforce and stimulate the SME sector to build local technologies and solutions that address pressing challenges."
The investment will focus on initiatives in three core areas that are central to the Kingdom's current developmental thrust - innovation, healthcare and energy - this will build capacity among Saudi's young talent in key growth sectors and double GE's workforce in the Kingdom to over 2,000 by 2015.
• GE Innovation Center
One of the strategic initiatives by GE as part of the investment commitment is a new GE Innovation Center to be based in Dhahran Techno-Valley in the Eastern Province. This follows the strategic agreement signed by GE and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in 2011 to build a full-fledged GE technology center and office in Dhahran Techno-Valley. The GE Innovation Center will focus on co-creating local solutions, with customers, universities and industry organizations, to address the Kingdom's priorities in driving cleaner and more efficient energy solutions, as well as sustainable and affordable healthcare solutions.
Planned for inauguration in early 2013, the Innovation Center underlines the company's commitment in cultivating a culture of homegrown innovation and R&D led by Saudi talent. Featuring laboratories, training rooms and an interactive customer experience, the Center will display GE's breadth of advanced technologies and solutions, reiterating its thought leadership in innovation. It will be a place for GE and its partners to work together, share knowledge, collaborate and co-create - thus building localized solutions.
In addition, GE will work with strategic partners to bring its renowned global ecomagination Challenge to the region. The ecomagination Challenge is an innovation platform where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students share their best ideas, and here, the focus is on how to create and build energy efficiency solutions for a desert environment.
• Transforming the Healthcare Landscape
Complementing the goals outlined for the healthcare sector in the Ninth Development Plan and in line with the Ministry of Health (MoH) 'Patient First' strategy, GE is expanding its partnership with the Saudi MoH to further boost the Kingdom's healthcare sector competencies.
The initiatives include establishing a dedicated Healthcare Learning & Simulation Center in partnership with King Fahad Medical City (KFMC). GE also aims to support the MoH in setting up a dedicated Performance Improvement Unit designed to continue enhancing operational efficiencies of various MoH clinics and departments. Supporting the Kingdom's leadership on the advancement of a comprehensive e-health information system, the MoH will partner with GE Healthcare to enable interoperability standards between different IT systems and divisions of the healthcare system.
GE's new initiatives in the healthcare sector build on the realization of GE's 'healthymagination' initiative launched in partnership with MoH more than two years ago, which included a nation-wide preventive health wellness campaign. Healthymagination is GE's commitment to create better health for more people by expanding access to quality care at lower costs. In addition, GE is a partner with the MoH on the Breast Cancer Screening Program in Riyadh launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Hessa Al-Shaalan, wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
• Driving Energy Efficiency & Localization
GE has been working closely with Saudi Aramco and Saudi Electricity Company as both shape and address the country's changing energy landscape. To meet the growing demand, it is important to further enhance operational efficiencies and localize capabilities in the power generation and oil & gas sectors.
To meet these goals, GE is launching a new global HFO (heavy fuel oil) technology program for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The advanced technology will considerably enhance efficiencies in the use of heavy fuel oil and conversion for power generation.
GE will also further contribute to the localization in the energy sector through the second phase of the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. The Center celebrated its first anniversary this year, and following the expansion will now have five key components: a modern manufacturing facility of high end equipment for the power, water and oil & gas industries; a service and repair center for advanced turbine components; a training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses; a Repair Development Center; and a state-of-the-art high-speed balance facility. Through the expansion, GE will commence manufacturing of unique gas turbine components locally. A new Pressure Control Center is also being established which will manufacture key equipment for the upstream oil & gas sector.
Another key aspect of GE's investment is a focus on developing a Saudi-based supply chain that promotes the manufacturing sector of the Kingdom. Ranked as the 17th most competitive nation by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011-12 and backed by its strong natural resources and central location that links the East and the West, Saudi Arabia can serve as a strong link in the supply chain that not only meets domestic requirements but also services regional and even global clients.
GE will identify and help develop the competencies of various suppliers enabling them to play an integral part in the manufacturing supply chain. It will also strengthen the company's service capabilities, by working with quality suppliers who can meet diverse needs. The supply chain development initiative also has a larger societal role, as it will promote the entrepreneurial skills of young Saudis, create new jobs and support the economic diversification goals of the Kingdom.
Recently, GE established a Technical Academy in partnership with Technical & Vocational Training Corporation to grow the Saudi technical talent pool. GE also has a robust Saudization plan backed by comprehensive training programs for young nationals. Central to GE's approach for the Kingdom is a commitment to empower the national workforce. This includes focused training programmes for professionals, having already trained over 3,000 Saudi professionals in the healthcare, energy and aviation sectors, as well as fostering knowledge transfer, building R&D capabilities and promoting innovation.
Currently serving as a trusted partner bringing advanced healthcare, clean water, electricity and transportation to the Saudi people, GE has been a major player in the Kingdom for over eight decades. Today, with three offices and seven facilities Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 1,000 employees driving the healthcare, transportation, power, oil & gas, water and aviation businesses. More than 500 GE turbines currently generate over 50% of Saudi's electricity, and the company's advanced technology supports the production of 150 million liters clean water daily, delivered to the country's remotest corners.
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