Autodesk Increases Commitment to Global Education Programs and Partnerships

New Centers of Excellence in Emerging Markets, Enhanced Sponsorships and New Programs Provide Promising Future for the Next Generation of Design Innovators

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its annual World Press Days event, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced increased activity and commitment in global education programs and sponsorships through new Centers of Excellence (COEs) in China, India, and Russia, new and expanded partnerships with education organizations, and the growth of the Student Engineering and Design Community to more than 225,000 students and educators worldwide. With the looming shortage of qualified engineers in the U.S., as well as the need for more skilled talent to support rapidly emerging economies, Autodesk is committed to supporting educators in preparing the next generation design professionals.


"An increasingly competitive world demands the talents of the world's best and brightest, Autodesk is more dedicated than ever to inspiring and preparing the next generation of designers," said Paul Mailhot, senior director, Worldwide Education Program, Autodesk. "In order to compete in tomorrow's global workplace, today's students must be fluent in the technologies used by professionals in the real world, and be able to collaborate effectively across disciplines, time zones, and cultures."

With design emerging as a competitive advantage, designers today are required to drive innovation, work in global teams, and work in a multi-disciplinary fashion. To help design students address these expectations, Autodesk has established long-term partnerships with the world's leading education institutions to found more than 14 COEs worldwide in emerging countries such as India, China, and Russia. These COEs provide faculty and students with digital design tools, multi-disciplinary and project-based curriculum, and state-of-the-art facilities necessary to explore and thrive with new design challenges. Institutions that house COEs are national leaders in their fields that are having a direct impact on education, government, and industry.

Each Center of Excellence is customized to meet the needs of the students and customers in that region. This customization is possible because of Autodesk's depth and breadth of industry solutions and expertise, and the multi-faceted support that Autodesk provides through funding, state-of-the-art software, research, and consulting.

Relationships with other leading educational institutions have been established in countries such as Russia, Brazil and Korea to open additional training facilities and COEs. Autodesk has also partnered with non-profit organizations to provide funding, software and resources to educate and inspire students through project-based instruction and exciting, real-world engineering challenges. Autodesk has made great strides in providing middle- and high-school students with a foundation for academic and professional success. These efforts include:


    WorldSkills International Sponsorship

-- More than 800 students from around the world competed in WorldSkills
International 2007 in Japan last November, where Autodesk served as a
global sponsor and the exclusive computer-aided design (CAD) software
partner for the 2007 competition;
-- The collaboration with WorldSkills International (WSI) will help to
achieve higher standards and status for career and technical education
and training;
-- Over 800 competitors, experts and observers from 48 countries came
together to witness talented youth compete for the top position in 49
different skills ranging from polymechanics, mechanical engineering,
stone masonry, bakery and hair styling;
-- Autodesk is now preparing for bi-annual competitions in Calgary in
2009, and in London in 2011.

-- The Autodesk academic certification program enables students to earn a
credential in recognition of their knowledge of specific Autodesk
software applications.
-- The credential that students earn is the same credential that design
professionals earn, but it is offered at an affordable academic price.

Expanded Support of Robotics
-- 2008 marks the 17th consecutive year that Autodesk has sponsored the
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), with more than $17 million in
funding, software and resources; 2008 also marks the second year that
Autodesk is sponsoring the FIRST Tech Challenge
-- Autodesk's FIRSTbase Website (, a
comprehensive resource Autodesk launched for students and mentors in
the robotics challenge, is used by more than 80% of FRC teams;
-- Expanded partnership with Innovation First, Inc. resulted in the
launch of, a Web portal that helps connect students
and educators with engaging robotics pre-engineering programs such as
BEST Robotics Competition, Botball Education Robotics Program, FIRST
and others.

Project Lead the Way
-- Autodesk increased its support for long-time partner Project Lead the
Way (PLTW).
-- 200,000 U.S. middle- and high-school students will use Autodesk
software to complete project-based coursework in the 2007-2008 school

Student Community Gains Momentum
-- Student and educator registrations on the Autodesk Student Engineering
& Design Community ( have risen to
more than 225,000, representing more than 375,000 Autodesk design
software downloads from almost 12,000 schools in 129 countries;
-- Student members get free access to Autodesk design software,
step-by-step tutorials and job postings that give them a head-start on
academic and professional success, and educators can download
curriculum and share best practices in a faculty-only discussion

Student Design Challenge
-- Autodesk recently launched the "Build Something" Student Design
Challenge ( to encourage
students from around the world to showcase their skills in mechanical
and industrial design, architecture, civil engineering and animation.
-- The competition requires student members to demonstrate innovation in
their chosen discipline, whether a student union building
(architecture), a product redesign (industrial and mechanical
engineering), a roadway (civil engineering), or the ultimate superhero
(3D and Animation). There is also a bonus award for best sustainable
-- A panel of Autodesk and industry experts from companies such as HOK,
AlchemyLabs, Palumbo Motorcars, and Miller Legg will choose the
winners in May.

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