Networking firm Cisco has given £300,000 in funding to Sunderland City Council to help the city connect to the firm's National Virtual Incubator.
The National Virtual Incubator (NVI) is Cisco's public technology network designed to accelerate business by connecting different organisations through one IT infrastructure.
It will link Sunderland City Council with the city's Software Centre and existing innovation hubs such as the e-commerce centre for tech firms dubbed e.Volve, and other research centres and science parks across the UK.
Tom Baker, head of ICT at Sunderland City Council, applauded Cisco for its support and emphasised that the city has been investing heavily in technology prior to today's announcement.
"Sunderland is well established as a hotbed of software and technology talent, and this is something that the city council has pioneered through improved infrastructure and significant investment," he said.
"The support we have had from external partners, like Cisco, in developing an infrastructure that can help software businesses in the city to thrive and enjoy access to really cutting-edge support has been fantastic. This investment really will ensure that our businesses are more plugged into the technology network than ever before. It's a great boost for the city and its growing technology community," he added.
Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, said that Sunderland was a perfect fit to connect to the NVI.
"Sunderland has fast become an official landmark for innovation and is therefore the perfect location for the new node. By joining efforts with Sunderland City Council, which is already providing fantastic opportunities for the thriving technology community to collaborate and develop, together we can help support the government's objectives to drive economic growth through high-tech innovation," he said.