GE opens US$500mn research facility in Brazil

Located on the Ilha do Bom Jesus peninsula in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazil Technology Center will be a hub for the company to collaborate with customers in the region.

GE will work initially with Petrobras and BG Group to develop technologies and equipment for oil and gas processing on the seabed.

BG Group and GE are exploring ways to make drilling systems smarter, increasing the amount of data they provide and helping operators utilize the data in real-time, while, researchers at the Brazil Technology Center and Petrobras are discussing more effective and efficient ways to separate oil, water and gas on the seabed.

“Our new research centre in Brazil will allow GE to innovate locally for our customers in Latin America and then export those innovations to the world,” said GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “Over the past decade, we have doubled down on our R&D investment and expanded our global network of research centres to address customer’s growing needs for breakthrough technology that we develop with them. We see significant growth opportunities in Latin America and having the best technology and solutions will ensure we maintain GE’s competitive edge.”

Mark Little, senior vice president and chief technology officer, GE Global Research said: “Expanding opportunities for oil & gas production in ultra-deep waters requires the kind of industry and technology know-how for extreme environments that is a part of GE’s DNA. The Brazil Technology Center is a place where we can work closely with local customers and universities in the region and harness the full power of our global research network to drive innovation in ways no one else can.”

The Brazil Technology Center, GE’s first in Latin America, is one of nine company research centres globally and one of five outside the US.

The new centre will also be home to a Global Learning facility for GE employees. The Rio branch of “Crotonville,” GE’s global leadership development institute in the US, will focus on leadership strategy, business management, and finance training.