The Abyss ocean science museum in Second Life
The Fashion Research Institute announced on November 1 that they have awarded "regions" of virtual land in the virtual world to nine nonprofit, research and educational institutions. The land will be hosted on the Science Sim virtual world, built on the OpenSimulator platform, an open-source version of Second Life.
The nine awardees are:
- The Abyss Observatory
- The Cyprus University of Technology
- The EdLab Group Foundation
- The Honor Engine
- The Oregon L5 Society
- Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics
- Preferred Family Healthcare
- Science Circle
- BIO-SE project (Biological Interactive Objects for Science Education)
Looks like quite a variety of science-focused institutions represented, including scientist networks, health care services, and a virtual ocean science museum.
The "virtual land grant" is comprised of four regions, which can support 100,000 primitive units, a substantial amount of space for these groups to prototype new projects, hold meetings, and allow their staff and members to build. The grant will last for nine months from September 2011 to June 2012.
But it's unclear why the Fashion Research Institute is involved, since their aim from their website is to develop "innovative design & merchandising solutions for the apparel industry." Perhaps they are taking a very wide-reaching approach to their research on the applications of virtual worlds for different sectors? Or perhaps there is some other science and technology connection that is not so apparent? We'll approach them for comment later.
See the full announcement and more info about each of these organizations on the official release.