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GE backing new tech center in Qatar

 - December 7, 2006, 10:35 AM

General Electric is to establish a major new technology facility at the Qatar Sciences & Technology Park (QSTP). The company revealed the plan yesterday at a signing ceremony at the Qatar Foundation involving HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, the foundation’s chairperson, and GE vice chairman David Calhoun.

The GE Technology and Learning Centre, which will replicate the company’s Cincinnati center and train technicians from across the Middle East, represents a multimillion-dollar investment by the U.S. industrial and financial giant. As well as serving as the venue for technical conferences and forums, it will house GE’s regional customer service and business development operations

Construction is due to start next year and is scheduled for completion in 2007. GE staff will manage the center and deliver its research and training programs.

The QSTP is part of Qatar Foundation’s Education City. Welcoming the GE move, Sheikha Mozah said the foundation aims to enhance Qatar’s intellectual and scientific capabilities. Calhoun said GE has a long history of supporting technology development in the Middle East.

The QSTP’s mission is to foster technology development in Qatar by providing world-class premises and services for companies from around the world in a free trade zone. In June Rolls-Royce announced that it would establish a facility in the park to look at new marine and aeronautical applications for its Trent engine series. A QSTP spokesman added that Airbus plans to set up a research center there to explore technologies supporting aircraft maintenance and operation.