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Alberta and General Electric team up to innovate- Energy, environment and health care the focus for collaboration

September 9, 2010

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Calgary...The Government of Alberta and General Electric Canada have signed an agreement that will see the global innovation giant establish new technology centres in Alberta and collaborate with the province in areas of shared expertise.

The new GE Global Heavy Oil Centre of Excellence and the GE Innovation Centre will be located in Calgary. GE will also team its global expertise with Alberta through a range of technology and business development projects including pilot programs in health care technologies and financing for small and medium sized Alberta companies. In addition, GE will share its leadership development and executive training programs with key managers and technology leaders in Alberta’s research community.

“Like Alberta, GE is focused on solutions in areas such as healthcare, energy and the environment for a sustainable society,” said Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. “We’ve made the right investments in research facilities, talented people and the Alberta Innovates system that attracts a company like GE, which has a powerful presence in the global technology marketplace.”

“We look forward to working with Alberta's innovators and leaders to drive new technologies that will advance economic growth within the province and globally," said Elyse Allan, President/CEO GE Canada.

GE will work with the Alberta Innovates corporations and Campus Alberta institutions to provide opportunities to explore applications of technologies and opportunities for commercialization through a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alberta government.

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Alberta and GE – new areas of collaboration

GE Innovation Centre
GE is establishing a cross-business GE Innovation Centre in Calgary. The centre will showcase GE’s innovation and technology capabilities and enable collaboration on solutions to the energy, water and infrastructure challenges facing Alberta and the world. 

GE Global Heavy Oil Centre of Excellence
The GE Global Heavy Oil Centre of Excellence will provide and leverage engineering resources to develop solutions to the challenges of producing and upgrading heavy oil. The Global Heavy Oil Centre of Excellence will be located within the GE Innovation Centre. 

Healthcare
In health care, GE will seek to pilot new and cost-effective health care solutions and innovative medical devices.

Leadership and training
Working with Campus Alberta partners, GE will deliver its leadership development courses to 100 key managers and technical leaders within Alberta’s innovation and research communities over the next five years.

Business development
GE Capital will work with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology on a special outreach initiative to explore new financing options for small and medium-sized Alberta companies

Alberta and GE – existing partnerships

Water Research and Innovation
In 2007, GE entered into a $15-million technology development program with the Alberta Water Research Institute and its research funding partners. The program aims to develop technology to improve water reuse and management in in-situ oil sands operations. GE is also actively involved in developing and proving effective technologies for treating tailings water for industrial reuse, in order to help operators improve the efficiency of their operations.

Carbon Capture
GE is partnering with the University of Alberta and Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures (AITF) on a $4-million carbon capture project supported by the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation. The team is leveraging cutting-edge research in nanotechnology to reduce CO2 emissions associated with the heavy oil extraction and upgrading process, and treatment of produced water generated during the oil recovery.

Pipeline Solutions
In May 2010, PII Pipeline Solutions, (a joint venture between GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen Energy Services) opened a new state-of-the-art services facility in Calgary. The facility is supporting North America’s oil and gas infrastructure with advanced pipeline inspection technology and services, and will become a global centre of excellence for pipeline crack analysis servicing Canada, U.S. and European pipeline operators.

About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates is Alberta’s research and innovation system. Through Alberta Innovates, and in partnership with Campus Alberta, the Alberta government is making it easier for researchers, innovators and investors to work together to create new opportunities, new solutions and new sectors that will drive the province’s next generation economy. For more information on Alberta Innovates visit www.albertainnovates.ca.

About Campus Alberta
The 26 publicly funded post secondary institutions that make up Campus Alberta are the driving force of the next generation economy. Together, they aim to increase learners’ ease of entry into and movement within the Alberta advanced education system, create more flexible learning opportunities and to provide Alberta learners with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen learning pathway. By achieving these objectives, Alberta will ensure it has a high-quality, globally-recognized advanced education system that is resilient, responsive, and relevant to learner, economic, and social needs.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world's toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Kim Warburton,
Vice President, Communications and Public Relations
GE Canada
Phone: 905-858-5678
Cell: 416-561-8316
kim.warburton@ge.com

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Sarah Triantafillou
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sarah.triantafillou@ge.com