Where Ideas Come From: Inside GE Global Research's Headquarters

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This is part of an occasional photo feature that takes you inside the headquarters of today's top tech companies, from the big multinationals to the young startups of Silicon Valley. If you'd like to participate, or have a company to suggest, email me at njackson[at]theatlantic[dot]com.

The research and development center for all of General Electric's businesses, GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York, is one of the largest industrial research organizations anywhere in the world. And it continues to grow: The center has three sister laboratories in Bangalore, Munich and Shanghai, with a fifth site soon opening in Rio de Janeiro. Together, these facilities employ more than 2,800 individuals, 1,000 of them with PhDs. In 2008, the most recent year for which numbers have been made public, Global Research had a research and development budget in excess of $550 million. That same year, the team's total number of patents climbed to 560.

"Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, and it now focused on developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as molecular imaging and diagnostics, energy conversion, nanotechnology, advanced propulsion and security technologies," according to GE's fact sheet. The team takes us inside of the 550-acre New York headquarters with the photo tour embedded below, where you can see some of the steps taken to reach those breakthroughs.

Learn more about the GE Global Research center at Edison's Desk, where the center's researchers discuss technological developments in their work. The blog is named after the place where the founder of Edison's General Electric did most of his work; Edison's actual desk is currently on display inside of Global Research's lobby.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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