Lenovo, the China-based firm that recently acquired IBM’s personal computing division, will open a new innovation center in RTP, the company said Tuesday.

The facility has already secured partnerships with Intel, IBM, LANDesk, Microsoft and Symantec.

Lenovo closed on its $1.75 billion acquisition of IBM’s PC division earlier this month. The PC group is based in RTP. Some 2,000 IBM employees were transferred to Lenovo as part of the deal.

The purpose of the center is to provide an “incubation environment for the design, creation, validation, proof-of-concept, and deployment of new personal computing solutions,” Lenovo explained on its web site in announcing the center. The center is to provide an environment where Lenovo’s partners, customers, software developers and solution providers can work together in development of new PC solutions, the company said.

Over time, the center will include engineers, programmers, product development and sales and marketing personnel from the various firms, Lenovo added.

The initial investment in the center will be $2 million, according to The News & Observer.

Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by the third quarter, and customer proposals are already being accepted, the company said.

“Lenovo and its partners will use this center to make innovation relevant to our customers,” said Deepak Advani, senior vice president of Lenovo, in a statement. “It will create a hands-on facility dedicated to eliminating customer pain points, a place where professionals from numerous companies come together and focus on core business processes. Together, our companies offer a vast portfolio of expertise, hardware and software solutions, education, and services. The center will focus those resources on resolving specific customer problems.”

Of specific importance to the center are:

  • Technology incubation

  • Partner collaboration

  • Solution development

  • Imaging

  • Training services

  • A solution showcase
  • “In the 21st century global economy, the basis of innovation lies in collaboration and expertise to foster new ideas, technologies and processes,” said Tony Romero, general manager of Lenovo Alliance for IBM. “The launch of this center will do much for technology advancements across all industries.”

    In a joint statement from Lenovo and its partners, the companies choosing to participate each cited a variety of reasons for joining the effort.

    “The Innovation Center provides a direct way for the industry to test and implement real-world business solutions to issues our customers face every day,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobility Group. “The center takes a look at the entire platform – from hardware and software to services – to create solutions. This directly complements Intel’s focus on platforms like the Intel Centrino mobile technology and other research and development areas such as virtualization and active management technology which strives to bring additional value to our customers.”

    LANDesk Software stressed an interest in exploring means of improving security and dealing with such challenges as software licenses and regulatory audits. Microsoft stressed opportunities for integration of tools, services and applications as well as training to be made available for “new technologies”. Symantec pointed out the potential for “creating innovative security solutions”.

    For more information about the center, go to: www.thinkpad.com/innovation