The U.S. company General Electric opened a new €42 million ($52 million) research center in southern Germany on Monday, the first of its kind in Europe. The 110,000-square-foot (10,220-square-meter) facility, located in Garching just outside Munich, will employ some 150 scientists and engineers. The company said the center will focus on alternative energy production technology as well as electrical systems for renewable energy sources and medical imaging technologies. Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber welcomed the center, saying GE's choice of Germany as a site demonstrated the country's strength as a highly productive research hub. GE operates similar research centers in Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Niskayuna, New York. The company, which is based in Fairfield, Connecticut, makes household appliances, lighting, jet engines, nuclear reactors, medical equipment and plastics.