SUNDERLAND is set to take its place among Britain’s on-line elite after receiving a technology boost.
Technology giant Cisco UK has donated £300,000 worth of funding to allow city council business centres to be linked into the firm’s National Virtual Incubator (NVI).
It is a public network which aims to stimulate business by connecting different organisations through the latest IT infrastructure.
The NVI will link the likes of the new software centre in Tavistock Place and Rainton Bridge’s e.volve centre to universities, research centres and science parks across the UK.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “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.
“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 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.”
It is expected that Sunderland University will become one of the nodes linked to the network, joining a number of universities and business centres across the city.
Start-up businesses will be able to visit the university in order to connect to other organisations.
Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to partner with Sunderland and welcome the city to the NVI network.
“It has fast become an official landmark for innovation and is, therefore, the perfect location for the new NVI node.
“The NVI is integral to our British Innovation Gateway initiative, which is designed to develop Britain’s innovation eco-system and create an environment in which start-up digital businesses and their ideas can flourish.
“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 and build a brilliant future for Britain.”