The University of Nicosia (UNIC) announced the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative, including academic programmes, research, and on-campus integration.
The Department of Digital Innovation and the Institute For the Future (IFF) of the University of Nicosia (UNIC) announced the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative last week, a new comprehensive initiative focused on the academic, research and policy issues relating to the metaverse, with a particular emphasis on open public systems and standards.
This initiative builds on UNIC’s eight-year track record as the leading university in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
UNIC launched the world’s first degree program in cryptocurrency in 2014. Today, UNIC has educated over 100,000 students in academic and professional training courses, hosts the world’s largest team of faculty and staff focused on crypto-assets and blockchains, and serves as the academic lead for the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (a European Commission initiative to accelerate the development of blockchain within the EU).
The UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative is focused on four areas.
The first, focusing on academic and professional training programmes, concerns an online 6-week course on the introduction to NFTs and the Metaverse. Starting in February 2022, the course will be taught by UNIC faculty with guest interventions/lectures by leading NFT creators and collectors, as well as Web 3.0 entrepreneurs and investors. Unic will also develop a new interdisciplinary Master’s programme in Metaverse Systems focused on preparing creators, developers, architects, social scientists, financial professionals, policy makers, and others for careers in metaverse design and management.
The research and policy includes a new, interdisciplinary research centre for an Open Metaverse (COM) within the Institute for the Future, focused on research on open metaverse systems as well as the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA) – a consortium of universities, corporations, non-profits, and governmental organizations committed to developing an open metaverse.
According to the university, the third area includes innovation and entrepreneurialism with the public launch of the first cohort of UNIC-incubated NFT/metaverse startups in December this year, the annual cohorts of NFT/metaverse startups and support for NFT/metaverse creators.
The final area concerns NFTs on Campus with the establishment of the first permanent university gallery for NFTs, namely the Block Gallery which will be inaugurated in November 2021.
An NFT-based system for various campus activities within UNIC’s main Nicosia campus with also be created, while NFTs will be accepted by the University of Nicosia Foundation as donations for student scholarship and research support.
Moreover, a metaverse-focused track will feature in UNIC’s global crypto conference, Decentralized, which will take place in Athens on 3-4 March 2022.