Two of the world's major IT companies are to create 15 jobs as part of multi-million pound research in Northern Ireland.
Invest NI has ploughed £1.7m into the first ever physical joint initiative between SAP UK and Intel Corporation.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that while SAP and Intel have engaged in research together before, their Belfast project - which was established in October 2009 - was the first time they have established a shared physical location with pooled resources.
"It is significant that these major ICT multinationals chose Northern Ireland as the location for this initiative," she said.
"It reflects their confidence in the IT skills available here and in particular, the high value they place on the opportunity to work closely with our universities."
The new investment will expand SAP's research presence in Northern Ireland and create Intel Ireland's first research footprint here.
SAP's Northern Ireland research location was established in January 2005 and was the organisation's first such research location in the UK.
It set up a laboratory with Intel at the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Quarter in October 2009.
SAP provides business software to companies of all sizes in more than 120 countries and employs around 30 people in Belfast.
The new announcement will see an additional 15 high-quality PhD level posts created.
Martin Curley, director of Intel Labs Europe, said that the wants to emulate SAP's success in Northern Ireland.
"With SAP's positive experience in Northern Ireland in terms of access to highly skilled people and a strong academic base, this collaboration was a very attractive option," he added.
US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, said the firms' endorsement of Northern Ireland represents another significant step forward.
"This endorsement by two industry leaders such as Intel and SAP shows once again that Northern Ireland's focus on being dominant in the industries that will shape the economies of the future is paying and will continue to pay strong dividends," he said.