Averett University announced Thursday a partnership it hopes will drive a digital ecosystem on a course to become carbon neutral.
The Danville-based school is teaming up with Dalrada Financial Corporation for what it calls efforts to “drive significant reduction in carbon emissions and deliver savings on energy costs, while taking the university into the metaverse.”
Dalrada Energy Services — a division of Dalrada Corp — will help with Averett’s goal of designing a next-generation campus experience, according to a news release. The company’s solutions address things like climate change and “technology solutions for a new era of human behavior and interaction.”
The metaverse — a term minted by the science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash” — describes “a proposed immersive version of the internet accessed via virtual-reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, phone apps or other devices,” according to The Associated Press.
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Essentially metaverse is viewed as the internet being brought to life, or a least rendered in 3D, the AP reports.
“Partnering with Dalrada allows us to set the sustainability bar for colleges across the country and ensures that we are fostering an educational environment designed to propel our students into the digital future,” Averett President Tiffany M. Franks said in a statement. “Like never before, we will be providing students with the tools they need to be successful after graduation and preparing them for the jobs of the future that we can’t even yet imagine.”
Along with cutting-edge technology, plans include “student ownership of digital assets and personalized artificial intelligence, as well as learning and understanding the impacts of digital currency,” the university reported in a release.
Carbon neutral — reaching a net-zero of carbon dioxide emissions — is a focus of the partnership. For example, by using the company’s LikidoONE heat pumps and other resources, Averett expects to save up to 20% in energy costs while reducing its carbon footprint, the news release stated.
Another central area is Web 3.0, a loosely defined way of describing the next phase of the internet. Averett says it’s the first American institute of higher learning to create personalized Web 3.0 capabilities while committing to sustainable energy outcomes.
“Working with a community leader like Averett University to help them achieve educational goals is exciting and we look forward to developing a program that takes a head-on approach to tackling global challenges while driving real change that fosters sustainability,” said Brian Bonar, chairman and CEO of Dalrada Financial Corporation.
Averett officials say timelines for implementation on the campus are underway and they will elist other “partners within the Dalrada ecosystem” as the project begins.