General Electric opens China Innovation Center (Xi'an) to grow presence in Northwest China

  • General Electric opens 1st China Innovation Center in the Northwest region
  • Dedicated to technology/product/solution development in lighting, aviation and energy industries with paramount priority on energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Help advance local industrial upgrade in the northwest region via three-way partnership between enterprise, universities and research institutions
  • Help build out local innovation capabilities through joint talent development
  • $60 million investment in building, staffing and equipment till now

July 18, Xi'an, China - General Electric, the world's biggest technology firm, today opens a China Innovation Center in the ancient city of Xi'an. The 14,000 square meter facility, intended to serve as a regional innovation hub, reinforces GE's commitment to the country's north western area, known for its rich high-tech manufacturing heritage and strong talent base. CIC Xi'an is designed to provide an open innovation platform for GE to co-create product and solutions with regional customers in lighting, aviation and energy sectors. It will also join local universities and research institutions to explore new technology frontiers and advance high-tech industry talent development.


In its initial stage, CIC Xi'an will focus on innovation in following sectors:

  • LED lighting product/solution development and commercialization
  • Avionics software development, application development for business and general aviation propulsion system; support for ARJ-21 aircraft testing; C919 program-related collaboration
  • Product application development in coal chemical, measurement and control devices, digital energy and water treatment
Among the priorities, lighting-related innovation will assume majority on CIC Xi'an's immediate agenda. Meanwhile, CIC Xi'an has also reached agreements with Xi'an Jiaotong University and Northwestern Industrial University respectively about joint training and apprenticeship programs mainly designed for students from engineering and technology majors. The two universities mentioned above are among the first universities of “Excellent Engineers Program “, which was launched in 2010 by the Ministry of Education, aiming at nurturing high-quality, innovative engineering and technical talents, by joint training of the universities , industries and enterprises .Till now, GE has carried out project collaboration for clean coal, advanced manufacturing and energy distribution solution for local hospitals, together with Xi'an Jiaotong University , Northwestern Industrial University, Northwest University and Shaanxi Normal University.


GE has spent more than $60 million to build, equip and staff CIC Xi'an, which currently hosts a 200 strong staff. It is part of a $2 billion investment commitment GE made in late 2010 to bolster the company's innovation activities and build technology partnerships in China over a 3-year period. In May, GE inaugurated another China Innovation Center in Chengdu. Several more similar facilities are planned in other inland Chinese cities.

John Rice, GE's Vice Chairman, said in Xi'an: “In GE's bid to implement open innovation strategy in China, the country's northwest is a region that we cannot afford to skip with strong GE customer and supplier bases here as well as science and technology academic heritage in the area. Via CIC Xi'an, we are well prepared to work with all kinds of partners in this region including customers, suppliers, universities and research institutions to explore technology frontiers, nurture talents and develop products that meet local needs. GE is committed to supporting economic transition in this part of China through open innovation. ”


Carefully designed processes are installed in CIC Xi'an to facilitate customer innovation. Interactive product demonstration and technology simulation is embedded to enable dialogue between GE engineers and customers on detailed design and application of GE products ranging from energy efficient lighting, civil aircraft avionics software to heavy machinery flaw detectors.

As the GE's innovation hub in northwest China, CIC Xi'an also counts procurement support, product marketing, customer training and customer services in its responsibilities. 

Mark Hutchinson, President & CEO of GE Greater China, said: “We believe the customer innovation centres we have built in China's hinterland is a perfect fit to the country's ongoing shift in growth pattern. These facilities are more than regular corporate R&D institutions. They will play an instrumental role in building out much-needed local innovation capabilities in these areas, enabling a healthy innovation eco-system essential for sustainable growth.”

Currently a total of up to 3,000 scientists & engineers work for GE in China, primarily in the China Technology Centre in Shanghai, one of the company's five global research centres set up in 2000.



About GE Lighting

GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs over 17,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal and Energy Smart consumer brands, and Evolve, GTx, Immersion, Infusion, Lumination and Tetra commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. 

For further information, please contact:

Dai Bin
Brand & Media Coordinator
DID:8621 – 3877 3569
Mobile:86 – 138 1752 9025  

Joey Yang 
Asia Communications and PR manager

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