Cisco Systems is investing $44 million in a venture fund that is focused on Eastern and Central Europe.

The fund will be managed by 3TS Capital Partners as part of its 3TS-Cisco Growth Fund III. Its previous firm closed on 2005 and totaled $127 million.

The deal is the latest in a series of investment initiatives, including programs in India and China.

“New businesses are a key driver of growth in emerging economies and of jobs in local communities," said Kaan Terzioglu, Cisco’s vice president for Central and Eastern Europe, in a statement. "Countries in the region innovate across a broad range of technologies, including broadband, wireless, security, and communications technologies. They also lead in the adoption of VoIP applications, multimedia and gaming, mobile content, and entertainment delivery. The opportunities in the region are therefore immense."

3TS has offices in Budapest, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw.

The investment is Cisco’s first in the region. Cisco has invested some $2 billion in venture capital efforts.