General Electric has teamed up with Local Motors to develop a new approach to production for companies in the manufacturing industry.
Through the FirstBuild open platform, the partnership plans to mine ideas from designers, builders, makers and other enthusiasts for new technologies and products, GE said Thursday.
GE says those ideas will then be built, tested and produced in small batches at a joint microfactory with processes and prototyping techniques that are designed to speed up time to market.
GE Executive Director of Global Innovation Steve Liguori said the company intends to use the model to strengthen its product lineup, starting with kitchen appliances, for its next generation of clients.
“At GE over the past years, we’ve… (focused) on R&D as well as co-creation, open collaboration and partnership, which has allowed us to engage new audiences and develop a following across various industry sectors,” Liguori said.
The initial set of projects under the program will focus on appliances and the first product is scheduled for release into the market by late this year.