International Business Machines Corp. is establishing a new Systems and Technology Group lab in Israel to focus on research and development of storage and microchip technology solutions. "The establishment of the new STG lab in Israel creates a very strong momentum for our development activities in Israel," IBM Israel general manager Meir Nissensohn said Wednesday. The announcement of the new R&D center coincides with IBM's acquisition of three local IT storage solutions start-ups - XIV, FilesX Ltd. and Diligent Technologies Corporation, which were purchased this year. IBM has appointed Alain Azagury as director of the STG lab, which will be operated from Tel Aviv and Haifa. "I'm confident that Alain's accomplishments and expertise in storage and systems strategy will bring even greater results in the near future," Nissensohn said. The new R&D center will leverage the deep technology skills and the creativity of the Israeli industry to create a unique organization that will attract top talent to IBM's System and Technology Group, IBM said. Azagury, who is joining the new lab from an assignment as director of service product technology in the IBM center in New York, will be responsible for coordinating storage development activities in Israel and leading the circuit and logic design technologies. He previously served as senior manager of the Storage and Systems Department at the IBM Haifa research lab, where his expertise included distributed and fault tolerant systems, storage systems and copy services, file systems, object storage, iSCSI and memory management. "I am thrilled to join a world-class team, which has a long history of infusing innovation into IBM's products," Azagury said. "Our vision is to go forward, excelling in development methodologies while embracing the most advanced development standards." The establishment of the new IBM STG lab in addition to the IBM R&D labs in Israel is aimed at strengthening the IBM divisions dedicated to infrastructure solutions and technologies. The STG lab will work closely with its sister labs in Israel: the long-established Haifa R&D lab and the more recently established software lab in Jerusalem. Together, the three labs employ more than 700 researchers and developers, whose innovations bring solutions to IBM clients in Israel and abroad.