GE to Build NY X-Ray Plant

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General Electric (GE) Healthcare plans to build a facility to make digital x-ray mammography machines at Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush, N.Y., near Albany, state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno announced yesterday.

The 150,000-sq-ft facility, to be built by GE, will reportedly employ 150 people with a total annual payroll of approximately $10 million and could create as many as 300 construction jobs, Bruno said. About 35,000 sq ft of the plant will be cleanroom space. Construction will begin this fall, and the facility is expected to open in fall 2008.
"This is tremendous news, because for the first time in recent memory, General Electric -- one of the largest corporations in the world, a company that began in our region -- has chosen the Capital Region as the site a major, new high-tech manufacturing facility," Bruno said.

The announcement comes on the heels of high-tech projects in the region by International Sematech II and AMD. (See: Chip Consortium Plans $600M UAlbany Expansion and AMD Plans New Plants)

Bruno has committed a $10 million state capital grant to invest in the construction of the new facility. "If we can put the Senate’s Upstate Now plan in place, we will have job creation announcements like this one across the state," he said. 

A total $135 million will be invested in the facility, including $75 million for construction and $40 million for equipment. GE Healthcare estimates it will make additional plant and equipment investments of $20 million over the next 10 years, Bruno said. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will contribute an estimated $1.5 million to anticipated road, sewer and water infrastructure improvements at the technology park.

GE had also considered locating the facility in Texas, Oregon or outside the US.

This week, the company is highlighting its Breast MR and 3.0T imaging technology  for detection and treatment breast cancer and other diseases at the 2007 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) in Berlin.

"The future of Breast MRI belongs to 3.0T MR technology, said Jeffrey Wienreb, MD, director of medical imaging at Yale New Haven Hospital, in a GE statement. He said he uses the GE Signa HDx 3.0T system for breast studies and that it can provide information useful in making a diagnosis. "In some cases, its higher spatial resolution provides crucial information that is not attainable at 1.5T," Wienreb said.

GE also announced at ISMRM that Jim Davis was promoted to vice president and general manager of the its global MR business. He replaces John Chiminski, who is now leading the integration of GE Healthcare’s acquisition of Abbott’s primary in-vitro diagnostics and Abbott point-of-care diagnostics businesses. Chiminski will lead GE’s new clinical diagnostics business, following the closing of the acquisition.

Davis began his career at GE in its aircraft engines business in 1985 in GE’s Edison engineering program. In 1987, he was promoted to engineer, systems and performance analysis. After completing his MBA, he joined McKinsey & Co. Inc. in 1992. In 1997, he returned to GE Aircraft Engine as manager of business development and was promoted to general manager, engine services marketing. He later joined GE Medical Systems Information Technologies as vice president and general manager of US sales and marketing and was vice president of sales and marketing for diagnostic imaging in the Americas from 2001 to 2007.

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Published: May 2007
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BiophotonicsConsumerdigital x-ray mammographyEmploymentGeneral Electric HealthcareindustrialN.Y.News & FeaturesNorth GreenbushphotonicsRensselaer Technology ParkSenate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno

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