Google and Nasa are throwing their weight behind an academic project that they hope will help solve some of "humanity's grand challenges" by gathering together some of the world's best and brightest technology minds.
The newly founded Singularity University will open in June at Nasa's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.
The facility will offer three-day, 10-day or 10-week programmes on subjects including future studies and forecasting, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics and cognitive computing, as well as finance and entrepreneurship.
The new institution was the brainchild of inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, X Prize chairman and chief executive Peter Diamandis, and former Yahoo Brickhouse head Salim Ismail. The founders hope that the university will attract students from around the world who will ultimately contribute to the evolution of scientific and technological thinking.
"We are reaching out across the globe to gather the smartest and most passionate future leaders, and arm them with the tools and network they need to wrestle with the grand challenges of our day," said Diamandis, who previously co-founded the International Space University.
Courses will be open to graduate and post-graduate students, and the shorter three-day and 10-day courses are aimed at chief executives, chief technology officers and other fast-track executives hoping to expand their knowledge and interpersonal networks.
The university will start out with just 30 students but already boasts an impressive teaching faculty, including Nobel Prize winning physicist George Smoot, Nasa Ames chief scientist Stephanie Langhoff, the so-called 'father of the internet' Vint Cerf, and even Will Wright, creator of popular video games Spore and The Sims.
It is hoped that the university will eventually be able to accommodate 120 students per summer semester. Students will start out with a series of lectures covering each of the 10 disciplines offered by the university, after which they will study their chosen discipline in depth, before finally coming together with the entire student body to try and tackle a "big problem" such as world hunger or climate change.
The base fee is a staggering $25,000 (£17,000) for a 10-week programme, although there will apparently be a number of full and partial scholarships available.
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