General Electric (GE) broke ground on a $52 million (USD), 10,000 square meter (~107,600 sq. ft.) research facility on the Garching campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany that will employ 150 scientists and researchers by 2005. As GE's first research and development center in Europe, this facility is part of GE Global Research, which develops advanced research and technology for all of GE's businesses. The facility will focus on alternative energy systems, sensors, advanced medical imaging and automotive technologies. Construction of the new facility will continue through spring of 2004 and will begin operations in early summer 2004. The plan calls for approximately 25 researchers to be hired by the end of 2003, increasing to 150 by 2005.