Smiths and GE Partner for Homeland Security

Smiths Detection and GE Security's Homeland Protection unit have long been steady competitors in the homeland security space, but today the two companies will start working together.

Smiths Detection and GE have formed a joint venture between the two companies and will be operating the new venture as Smiths GE Detection. Ownership is 64 percent Smiths, 36 percent GE.

Smiths GE Detection will offer a mix of the companies' detection and homeland security equipment, including technologies already available in each companies' product line.

The new venture will be led by two Smiths executives. Stephen Phipso, the group managing director for Smiths Detection, will assume the role of president as Smiths GE Detection; Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, CEO of Smiths, will lead the new joint venture's board of directors.

The joint venture remains to go before both companies boards, and is notably a long-term commitment for both companies, without options for voluntary in the first five years.

According to Butler-Wheelhouse, the move brings GE's powerful research and technology development engine together with Smiths' longtime experience in the detecton business.

"Access to the substantial technology resources and research capabilities of GE will accelerate new product development and help our customers make the world a safer place," said Butler-Wheelhouse.