OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Thursday it will open a software development laboratory in Pizen in the Czech Republic in November.

The Panasonic Europe Software Development Laboratory will be capitalized at the equivalent of about 6 million yen by another Matsushita laboratory in Germany.

The new lab will focus initially on the development of software for digital televisions and set-top boxes used to interface with the Internet.

Rainer Heiss, managing director of the laboratory, said the lab will initially have five staff members. He added, however, that some 30 software development engineers recruited locally will be employed at the lab within two years.

Pizen was chosen because of the availability of highly skilled software development engineers in the area, its close links with the local university and its proximity to a Matsushita television factory built in 1996, the company said.

The laboratory will eventually work on personal computers and possibly mobile communications software projects, Heiss said.

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