x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

General Electric opens ‘ecomagination centre’ in Masdar City

The 840 square-metre space in Masdar City’s Incubator Building, showcases GE’s advanced technologies from cleaner solutions for power grids to upmarket appliances.

Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar, during the opening of the ecomagination centre in Masdar. Delores Johnson / The National
Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar, during the opening of the ecomagination centre in Masdar. Delores Johnson / The National

General Electric is investing US$10 million in a project to drive sustainable growth in the capital.

GE yesterday opened an “ecomagination centre” in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City as part of a cooperation agreement with Mubadala Development Company and the Government of Abu Dhabi.

GE’s ecomagination initiative was originally launched in 2005 to measure clean energy growth, research and development (R&D) investment and reduce GE’s own carbon footprint.

Its portfolio of products and solutions under the brand has generated $130 billion for the company so far.

The 840 square-metre space in Masdar City’s Incubator Building, showcases GE’s advanced technologies from cleaner solutions for power grids to upmarket appliances.

The centre will focus on advancing energy and water efficiency while acting as a technology platform to increase customer productivity and drive cleaner energy solutions.

About 60 per cent of the world’s population is estimated to live in cities by 2030, increasing the need for sustainable energy to reduce dependence on natural resources.

“Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to innovation that helps create a world that is faster, cleaner, and better,” said Deb Frodl, the global executive director of ecomagination. “[The centre will] start the development of next generation technologies, solving some of the tough challenges and elevate the dialogue around water and energy efficiency. We envisage significant opportunities to drive the deployment of new technologies from the centre.”

Masdar City was chosen to house the centre as it was one of the most sustainable cities in the world, that is carbon-free and self-sufficient said Ms Frodl.

“We have over the past couple of years identified areas of common interest that have real, clear relevance to the region,” said Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar. “Areas where GE has unique abilities, capitalising on strengths of Masdar and enhance R&D to a state where technology can be created, scale it up and commercialise it.”

Most of the projects at the ecomagination centre will focus on water and energy sustainability to help local companies like Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline to reduce their carbon footprint.

“We see an economic and business opportunity to benefit from this,” said Mr Al Jaber.

Masdar City’s Incubator Building is the city’s first commercial property and is set to house more than 60 companies by the end of this year to work towards sustainability. GE is one of the limited partners in Masdar’s second CleanTech fund which has a total value of $290m. GE’s investment into that fund was $25m.

The unveiling of the centre came a week before Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which starts on Saturday and is expected to attract more than 30,000 people.

“With the World Future Energy Summit [WFES] as its cornerstone, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will set a new benchmark both for attendee numbers and new initiatives launched, “ said Najj El Haddad, the show director of WFES.

“[It] will open doors to the substantial commercial opportunities of sustainable development and renewable energy, as well as debate the necessary progress in policy and technology to achieve a sustainable future.”

thamid@thenational.ae