Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 19:14 UK

Virtual world designer wins gold

Pauline Randall's Second Life alter ego Liz May
Pauline Randall's Second Life alter ego 'Liz May' outside her virtual business park

A woman who runs a virtual business park in cyberspace has been recognised by Second Life creator Linden Lab.

Dunfermline businesswoman Pauline Randall specialises in making 3D replicas of buildings for the virtual reality website.

Her clients include Imperial College London, Ashridge Business School and the University of Hawaii.

Her company, virtual-e, is the first in Scotland to be awarded Gold Solution Service Provider status by Linden Lab.

Ms Randall believes virtual offices can help organisations host meetings, training, demonstrations and even international conferences, without the cost and hassle of travel.

She said: "Although Second Life has been around for about five years, it is still a relatively new opportunity and for organisations who are innovative, who want to stand out from the crowd and to get the very best value for money, it is a great move.

"In April this year, $27.3m were handled online, so it is growing rapidly."

Users of Second Life can purchase virtual property, but Ms Randall is also offering to lease office space to Scottish businesses so they can assess if it would be worthwhile investing more.

She is a key member of the Fife-based group TechnetFife which provides networking, discussions and information for technology companies.

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