08 February 2008

Derby Vice-Chancellor signs contract in Second Life

A Memorandum of Understanding contract was recently signed simultaneously in Second Life and real life by the University of Derby and global technology services company EDS. Avatars of Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, and Bill Thomas –Executive Vice President of EDS Europe signed the contract in a virtual simulation of the Next-Generation Games Development Suite where our students a taught in Second Life. The deal will serve to develop a stronger partnership between the institutions. The University and EDS chose to sign their new partnership in real life and virtually to signal their joint commitment to pushing the boundaries of new technology.

The memorandum of understanding will provide closer links between the worlds of corporate technology and academia by paving the way for University student placements with EDS, which has a large presence in Derby; further training of 200 EDS project staff in specialist computer skills by University experts; University-based activities for training purposes among senior EDS managers, e.g.: forensic computing and games design at the University’s Kedleston Road main site, or cookery at its Devonshire Campus in Buxton.

Professor Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “The signing of this memorandum of understanding between the University and EDS, both in reality and in Second Life, is the start of what we hope will be a long and happy association in both worlds. “The experience of simultaneously conducting the University’s business in real life and cyberspace is a first for me. Perhaps this is one way a busy Vice-Chancellor can actually find the time to be in two places at once.”

For more information about the event, visit www.derby.ac.uk/secondlife.

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