MCLEAN, Va. (AP) ¿ SAIC Inc. said Thursday that it has partnered with BPL Global Inc. to jointly market their services to utilities, as the industry seeks to modernize their networks.

SAIC also said it invested $10 million in BPL, a minority stake. SAIC is a science and engineering firm that builds complex computer systems, mostly for the federal government. BPL's software improves the performance of utility networks.

Privately held BPL will partner with SAIC's energy group to offer services to utilities seeking to upgrade their networks. BPL will provide its utility network expertise while SAIC contributes its experience in integrating complex systems.

The companies see a growing business opportunity as several countries use stimulus funds to modernize electric grids. BPL's focus is "smart grid" technology, in which more efficient and reliable digital technology is used to transmit electricity.

Services offered will include utility engineering, program management, data analytics, system integration, among others.

Shares of McLean, Va.-based SAIC rose 58 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $18.68 on Thursday.

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