Building a Local Supply Chain with a Big I.D.E.A.
We all can imagine what it takes to build a large manufacturing facility: lots of cement, steel, wiring, electronics, computers, etc. But if I asked you what it takes to build a local supply chain, what would you say?
Local companies, of course. But how can you identify them, and how can you tell whether they produce the kinds of components you’ll need? These challenges to building a robust supply chain are why GE and Sonelgaz, the National Company of Electricity and Gas, have launched I.D.E.A.
I.D.E.A. (Industry and Entrepreneurship Development in Algeria) is a first-of-a-kind entrepreneurship initiative to nurture local innovation in the energy-sector supply chain and foster Algerian talent for industrial jobs.
The initiative was launched today in Algiers during a GE Suppliers Conference that outlined I.D.E.A. and featured, for the first time in the region, GE Garages. Garages is a presentation, demonstration and workshop all in one, designed to bring alive the concept and the possibilities of advanced manufacturing, 3D printing and related phenomena such as the Maker Movement and micro-factories. At the event and for a week afterwards, GE will host workshops using the technologies, including CNC mills, laser cutters, 3D printers and injection molders.
The public is welcome to join the workshops on September 30th – October 1st from 10:00 – 15:00 at the Palais des Expositions (SAFEX) in Algiers.
Also during the conference, GE launched the I.D.E.A. innovation challenge (www.geinnovationchallenge.com/idea) that will provide up to $200,000 in prize money to encourage suppliers, startups and entrepreneurs to find innovative manufacturing solutions to support GE Algeria Turbines (GEAT). GEAT is a large industrial plant that broke ground this week and will produce at least 2,000 megawatts of power generation equipment a year, including gas and steam turbines, and generators.
The goal behind the innovation challenge is to identify local Algerian suppliers capable of manufacturing stainless steel parts used in gas turbine combustion systems.
I.D.E.A. launched with the attendance of the Minister of Industry and Mines, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy; GE’s Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt; Sonelgaz CEO Noureddine Bouterfa; other senior government officials, and more than 300 manufacturers from across the country.