19 Mar GE and Qatar Foundation to form partnership for healthcare technology development
Proposed ventures to focus on healthcare IT in Middle East and Africa and imaging-related R&D projects
FAIRFIELD, Conn. and DOHA, Qatar – General Electric Company and Qatar Foundation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create a partnership covering a range of healthcare business and research initiatives. Building on GE’s strong existing partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), Qatar Foundation’s research accelerator, the parties plan to develop and deliver next-generation healthcare technologies and build local research and development capabilities aligned with regional and global healthcare needs.
Key elements of the partnership include:
Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) for the Middle East and Africa. GE Healthcare an Qatar Foundation will expand GE Healthcare’s IT business in the Middle East and Africa through the creation of a joint venture headquartered at QSTP in Doha, Qatar. The joint venture will be the headquarters for GE’s Healthcare IT business in the Middle East and Africa, developing healthcare IT solutions specifically adapted to meet local needs, as well providing marketing, sales and distribution services in partnership with GE Healthcare’s existing infrastructure across the region.
In keeping with Qatar Foundation’s commitment to advancing education and technology
innovation, the new company will establish healthcare IT product development, training and education facilities at the GE Advanced Technology & Research Center (GE ATRC) at QSTP. Combining GE Healthcare’s world-class offerings in Healthcare IT with Qatar Foundation’s local knowledge and expertize will enable the new company to accelerate the development of technologies such as electronic medical records and clinical enterprise solutions specifically tailored to the needs of the region. The company will be equally owned by GE Healthcare and the Qatar Foundation, and will have a goal of achieving more than $200 million of annual revenues in the next five to seven years.
Healthcare Technology Research and Development. GE Healthcare and Qatar Foundation will also establish a jointly funded research and development venture. Initially the venture will fund the acceleration and expansion of a number of GE Healthcare’s existing R&D programs, primarily in the fields of digital x-ray technology and molecular imaging. These R&D programs will focus on the development of new products and technologies that meet the needs of healthcare providers both locally and globally. Ultimately, the joint venture intends to build local R&D capabilities at the GE ATRC in Doha. The joint venture will be equally owned by GE Healthcare and Qatar Foundation, with a projected budget in excess of $400 million over its first five years.
GE Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said, “The partnership is consistent with GE’s vision of helping solve some of the world’s toughest challenges and builds on our long-term relationships in the Middle East. It’s a great business opportunity for GE in a growing market with a great partner. Combining GE Healthcare’s global reach and strong healthcare offerings with Qatar
Foundation’s local expertize and commitment to technological investment will allow us to capitalize on significant opportunities in the region and to enable better health through the development of new technologies.”
Highlighting the significance of the partnership, Chair of Qatar Foundation Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned said, “Through Qatar Science & Technology Park, we have an inspired and dynamic relationship with GE. Our work together to research and develop innovative solutions in medical technology is an essential element of Qatar’s drive to create one of the most exciting clusters of scientific expertize in the world today.”
Reinaldo Garcia, President and CEO of GE Healthcare EMEA, said “This partnership brings together two world-class organisations with a common vision for improving access to the very best in healthcare in Qatar and across the Middle East. Qatar Foundation is a leading investor in some of the region’s most ambitious healthcare, education and technology research projects. We are delighted to be partnering
with such a forward-looking organization which has a deep commitment to healthcare research and education and is committed to the provision of clinical care of the highest international standards.”
Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park, said, “First-class healthcare
based on the latest medical technologies is a legacy that Qatar aims to leave for future generations. Our model is simple: work with the best partners to bring the best health technologies to our shores, and in the process learn how to innovate and develop solutions ourselves. Our partnership with GE Healthcare will dramatically accelerate our advance toward that ambitious goal.”
Investment in healthcare is a key priority for the State of Qatar, with a budget of $2.9 billion allocated for Health in 2008/9. As well as significantly increasing the number of hospital beds and expanding associated facilities for diagnosis and treatment, the State of Qatar intends to implement a pioneering e-health program across its hospitals and clinics nationwide. This e-health program will include the introduction of an electronic health record (e-HR) for every citizen of Qatar, with the objective of improving quality of patient treatment while simultaneously reducing overall administration costs. It is
anticipated that by 2011, 80% of clinicians in Qatar will have access to the e-HR.
GE and Qatar Foundation joined forces in 2005 when GE committed to investing $50 million in the GE ATRC at Qatar Science & Technology Park. The GE ATRC, which is due to open in October 2009, will be the regional R&D base for a number of GE businesses such as Aviation, Oil & Gas and Healthcare.
QSTP provides strategy and support for applied research by international partners that aligns with Qatar’s national goals. Today’s agreement with GE Healthcare coincides with the official inauguration of QSTP, which Immelt and other international leaders are attending.
GE has grown significantly in the Middle East. In 2008, it had record revenues of $6.6 billion, an increase of 21% over 2007, with Qatar constituting more than $1 billion of that total. GE’s presence in Qatar is well-established with almost 200 employees on the ground and major investment in other facilities includes a GE Oil & Gas Service Workshop in Ras Laffan and the upcoming ConocoPhillips & GE Global Water Sustainability Research Center in QSTP.