The first innovation centre for General Electric (GE) in Africa has been opened in Johannesburg, South Africa at a cost of R500million/ $32.5million.
The GE Africa Innovation Centre boasts an Experience and Exploration Centre; coffee shop and catering services; agile workspaces; Learning and Development Centre; Innovation Ideation and Collaboration Centre; a GE Prototyping Laboratory; and Healthcare Customer Experience Centre.
The Centre will serve as the new headquarters for GE Healthcare with the Healthcare Experience Centre mimicking various care areas in a hospital environment. It will also host key business sectors including aviation, energy, healthcare, oil and gas, power and transportation.
“We are using our resources to empower ourselves and our stakeholders to positively contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa. We are looking to impact and enhance the career aspirations of over 100 engineers,” Jay Ireland President and CEO for GE Africa said.
Ireland added that young Africans will share their innovative solutions whilst learning from some of the best GE minds in their respective fields at the Centre. They will then work across GE’s product portfolio and deliver simplified world-class products to GE customers.
The Centre will also enable skills and SME development on the continent as its serves as the basecamp for Londyolota Enterprise Development Trust whose commitment is to accelerate supplier development in South Africa and equip SME participation in the GE value chain.
In support of SMEs, GE centre of excellence (COE) in Africa was 90 per cent designed, executed and built by local businesses.
The Africa Innovation Centre is the first Green and Leed-Certified GE building in sub-Saharan Africa and the 10th GE innovation centre in the world.