GE: Open innovation “essential for China’s growth”

by | Jun 5, 2012

Innovation Management recently published a list of seven tips for carrying out open innovation in China. The country is emerging as a leader in open innovation due to supportive government policies, foreign-educated expats returning to their homeland and a thriving venture capital market.

General Electric has just announced a new open innovation lab in China, a $80 million research and development hub built in Chengdu.

The facility will focus on the energy and transport industries as well as rural healthcare, according to Warc.com.

Mock-up hospital facilities, such as maternity wards, will become a part of the hub, as well as intensive care wings where customer research will be carried out.

Photo: GE.com

Photo: GE.com.

Potential ideas for the facility currently being discussed are ideal for remote areas. These include  portable medical machines, such as mobile ultrasound scanners, and teleconferencing rooms where doctors will be able to contact patients while they are miles away.

GE will open another R&D facility later this summer in the Shaanxi province in an effort to move closer to consumers in rapidly expanding districts.

“We believe open innovation practices, especially the customer co-creation approach embodied in the China Innovation Centre [in] Chengdu, is essential for multinational technology companies such as GE as we participate and contribute to China’s future growth,” chief executive Jeff Immelt said.

“We expect to see steady and consistent growth in China over a period of time," he added. "Our revenue growth in China is 20% a year, which is quite substantial."

In 2010, GE announced it would invest $2 billion in the nation, an important market as economies elsewhere in the world face uncertainty.

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Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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