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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.

Knowing that today's students face new challenges that didn't exist 30 years ago, Autodesk is committed to supporting educators in preparing students to anticipate the world they will face and equip them with the knowledge, tools, and working skills necessary to address the challenges and opportunities of the next 30 years. Autodesk will continue to expand its support of existing and new programs and partnerships to ensure a bright future for the next generation of engineering and design leaders.

About Autodesk Education

Autodesk is committed to supporting students and educators by providing powerful 2D and 3D design software, innovative programs and resources designed to inspire the next generation of professionals to experience their ideas before they're real. By supporting educators to advance design education and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, Autodesk is helping prepare students develop for future academic and career success. Autodesk supports schools and institutions of higher learning worldwide through substantial discounts, subscriptions, grant programs, training, curricula development and community resources. For more information about Autodesk education programs and solutions, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they're real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.


Contact: Angela Simoes, 415-547-2388

Contact: Molly Benito, 503-471-6820

SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.

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