Research In Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry will expand its research and development capabilities by setting up a new facility in Western Europe.

The new site will be in Bochum, Germany and RIM said it will spend $45 million in the first year of operation at the site.

RIM said that the new site will start operating during the summer this year with 140 new employees but has plans of expanding the workforce to 500 in the future.

The firm added that the new site will focus on both hardware and software development for BlackBerry.

Developing new applications and handsets is the key to expanding RIM's future subscriber base as it faces increasing competition from the likes of Apple's iPhone, said RIM in a statement.