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(Reuters) – Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) plans to open its first research center in California’s Silicon Valley this year to focus on cloud computing, storage and networking technology, with hopes of hiring directly from the tech-focused region.

The world’s No. 2 PC maker said Tuesday that the new site will help it consolidate much of its operation in northern California over the next few quarters, combining several companies in the area that it has acquired.

Dell, which has seen its market share fluctuate and margins come under pressure due to increased competition from the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE:HPQ) and Acer Inc (TPE:2353), also hopes the new facility will attract crucial talent.

It expects to begin moving people into the center from the second half, and to have a staff of more than 1,500 at the site over the next half-decade.

Dell’s shares were up 1.3 percent at $14.44 in afternoon trade on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Edwin Chan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)