Provision of cryonics services, the low-temperature preservation of the mind's structure on death, is a 40-year-old concern. It is presently the only chance at a longer life available to the vast numbers of people who will age to death prior to the advent of rejuvenation biotechnology of the sort envisaged at the SENS Foundation. In a better world than the one we presently live in, cryonics would already be a world-wide and massive industry, preserving tens of millions of people every year - saving them from oblivion, and giving a chance at a long and interesting future in an age with the technology to restore a preserved person to active life. Sadly this is far from the case. The long term success of providers outside the US has yet to be achieved, for example, as has the sort of growth needed to turn this into a truly robust and competitive industry.
But there are signs of progress, such as the establishment and continued existence of Russian cryonics provider Kriorus, and more spin-off technology development ventures like 21st Century Medicine. Another group worthy of notice is Stasis Systems Australia:
Stasis Systems Australia (SSA) is a non-profit organisation formed to build and operate Australia's first cryonic storage facility. ... We are currently putting together a group of ten investors to build the facility, and have nine so far. We intend to commence operations in 2013. As of 15 May 2012, we are incorporated as a not-for-profit company in New South Wales. If you would like to be part of this venture please get involved, and if you would like more information, contact us.
Statis Systems Australia was in the press of late, as they look closer to launch:
Not-for-profit company Stasis Systems Australia is celebrating a key milestone of 10 investors, each paying $50,000 for the privilege of having their body stored when they die. Now the company is looking for a suitable location to build their super-cool facility, possibly in South Australia or New South Wales.
Co-founder Mark Milton said he had been talking to both SA Health and the NSW Health Department and had received a sympathetic and supportive hearing. More than 250 people have been cryonically preserved around the world, and close to 2000 more have signed contracts with overseas providers, he said.
Their optimism is still a long way from becoming reality, because scientists can so far only freeze and then revive single cells - not whole organs and certainly not whole people. And Australians interested in cryopreservation were at a distinct disadvantage, having to travel overseas when sick or risk having the procedure done here and then "thawing out" on the way over. "The logistical reason more than anything else is what prompted me to get together with Peter Tsolakides, who is the other founder, to get together and try and figure out whether it was feasible," Mr Milton said.
This is apparently an outgrowth of the Cryonics Institute community, and we can hope that this initiative proceeds well. Diversification is important as a key component of growth, and geographical diversification is definitely one of the options.