The program is designed to allow different companies to test their systems with Cisco's equipment under a variety of conditions. The program also provides more direct support for product development.
Cisco will begin certifying various programs as interoperable with the company's own products, which Greentech Media suggests could help the company establish itself as the prominent authority in the field.
The new program includes more than a dozen smart grid software developers, including several of the largest names in the field.
"The Connected Grid CDN program enables technology partners to benefit from Cisco’s deep networking and security expertise to develop and bring to market interoperable standards-based solutions that will make the Smart Grid and all of its benefits a reality," Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks business unit, said in a statement.