GE has opened its first African-based innovation centre in Johannesburg as part of its investment in developing home-grown solutions for Africa’s problems.

The R500 million facility is the tenth GE Innovation Centre globally and the first GREEN and LEED certified GE building in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The new centre will be the home to GE’s innovation across Africa within its key business sectors such as healthcare; aviation; energy; oil and gas; power and transportation.

“Innovation is shaping how we see the world and how we participate in its development today and into the future. GE is committed to driving innovation in Africa for Africa through supporting skills and SME development,” said President and CEO for GE Africa, Jay Ireland, during the opening ceremony.

“The GE Africa Innovation Centre is one platform through which we are using our resources to empower ourselves and our stakeholders to positively contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa,” continued Ireland.

The GE Africa Innovation Centre consists of an Experience and Exploration Centre; coffee shop and catering facilities; agile workspaces; Learning and Development Centre; Innovation Ideation andCollaboration Centre; and a GE Prototyping Laboratory and sustainable Healthcare Customer Experience Centre.

The Healthcare Experience Centre is designed to mimic different care areas in a hospital environment and includes focusedspaces to help familiarise customers with care area technologies in the operating theatre; intensive care unit; cardiology; oncology, maternal and infant care; and general radiology and after sales service.

The Healthcare Experience Centre also has virtual and augmented reality displays and an array of installed equipment so visitors canexperience an interconnected and efficient hospital catering for both primary care settings and premium facilities. There are also eight permanent work stations that will provide customers with hands-on clinical education and applications training.

“The Gauteng Department of Health is always working tirelessly with all the relevant stakeholders and this initiative will play a significant role in reducing the infant and maternal mortality rate in the province,” said Gauteng MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu, who was also at the opening.

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