SHANGHAI, China, Oct. 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- General Electric (NYSE: GE) officially opened today its new China Technology Center in Zhangjiang Hi-tech Zone, Shanghai. This US$64 million center is the latest facility to join GE's worldwide technology development efforts, which include the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York (1,800 employees), the John F. Welch Technology Center in Bangalore, India (1,600 employees) and the Europe Technology Center, in Munich, Germany (scheduled to open in early 2004). The GE China Technology Center will serve three fundamental roles: conduct advanced research and development of enabling technologies for future GE products and services; provide engineering support for GE's sourcing activities in China; and provide education for GE's employees, customers and suppliers. The China Technology Center will be pivotal to GE in achieving its objectives of US$5 billion sales and $5 billion procurement in China by 2005. GE's decision to invest in the new technology center and locate the facility in China is part of its commitment to grow revenue through technological leadership. ''GE's future is dependent on our ability to innovate and to differentiate our products and services around the world,'' said GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt. ''This Center and all our research efforts are the sparks for that essential innovation. They will increase our ability to develop the key technologies that will drive our growth everywhere we do business.'' The China Technology Center adds significant capacity and talent to GE's worldwide research and development activities. ''To compete in a global market, you have to tap into the best talent from around the world and bring technology development closer to the customer,'' said Scott Donnelly, senior vice president and director of GE Global Research. ''The China Technology Center gives us access to a wealth of talent in a variety of scientific disciplines and it's great place for us to showcase our technology to our customers in Asia.'' The new center employs around 500 people today with projections to grow to 1,200 employees by 2005. Scientists and engineers at the new center will develop advancements in areas such as: -- Power electronics and controls, primarily for renewable energy systems (for example, wind), and power turbines. -- Advanced manufacturing, such as digital manufacturing technologies, prototyping and modeling. -- Medical imaging technologies such as permanent magnets for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital x-ray detector materials. -- Advanced materials, such as conductive polymers, organic coatings, and nano-materials for applications in hydrogen storage, electronic devices, and medical imaging devices. In addition, the center is the home of China sourcing teams for a number of GE industrial businesses ranging from Aircraft Engines, to Power Systems, and Consumer Products. GE procures from China a broad range of items from raw materials to highly technical finished products for all of GE's businesses. The center also houses one of GE's largest training facilities. The China Learning Center will educate employees, customers and suppliers in management development, technology development and advanced manufacturing technologies and practices, including Six Sigma. The new Center covers 47,000 square meters with 27 research laboratories occupying 18,000 square meters. Showcasing GE's history of technology is a 1000 square meter lobby housing a technology exhibition with displays ranging from jet engines, to power turbines to computed tomography (CT) & MRI systems. In 2002, Immelt announced GE's goal of $5 billion in sales and $5 billion in procurement in China by 2005. ''Our China strategy has always been about growth in sales, sourcing and expanding the manufacturing capability to serve our customers in China and around the world,'' said Steve Schneider, chairman and CEO of GE China.'' This new center is at the heart of that strategy because it brings advanced R&D, broad-based technology sourcing and a means to attract and develop the best talent. We are proud to be enhancing the relationship between GE and China,'' said Schneider. GE in China GE first began trading in China in 1906. In 1908 it established it's first light bulb factory in Shenyang and in 1934 began importing electrical goods. Today all of GE's eight industrial businesses are represented in China including aircraft engines; power systems; medical systems; plastics; specialty materials; consumer products; industrial systems and transportation systems. To date GE has invested over US$1.5 billion in China with more than 10,000 employees. GE, with 2002 revenues of $132 billion, is a diversified technology, services and manufacturing company with a commitment to achieving customer success. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 300,000 people worldwide. All of GE's eight industrial businesses are present in China with more than 10,000 employees. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.ge.com/ and http://www.ge-china.com .