General Electric (NYSE: GE) VP software and analytics center William Ruh recently cut the ribbon of the company's new R&D center in Herzliya Pituah. The new activity is different from the company's main operations in Israel - the development of medical devices through GE Healthcare - as it will focus on software.
The new center, which has begun with seven employees, is growing rapidly, and will be integrated with GE's 20-month old software center in Silicon Valley, and its 425 employees.
"We realized that the Internet has reached the point where it will change industry as it has changed private consumption," Ruh told "Globes". "Our analysis found that there is a $3 trillion opportunity in industry to help businesses transform from analog to digital, as has happened in the consumer industry."
Ruh added, "Connecting a plane's engine to the Internet isn't really interesting, but what you do with it. If I cannot place the right sensors, analyze the engine performance in real time, and transmit the data to the pilots and technical crew, this could improve global aviation's fuel consumption by 1%. This is worth $2-3 billion a year to the aviation industry."
GE says that the relevant industrial Internet markets for it total $32 trillion - 46% of the global economy - mostly in medical devices, manufacturing, and transportation.
GE is mainly interested in big data and information security, two fields in which Israel excels. The company will invest $1 billion to develop additional capabilities, including in Israel, enabling the rapid expansion of activity, collaborations with start-ups and venture capital funds, and possibly investments and acquisitions.
"In terms of the fields we operate in, this is the right time to launch activity in Israel," said Ruh.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 30, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013