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Virtual ExperienceDecember 28, 2020

We did plenty…in 2020

It’s time for our annual look back at the past 12 months…and…
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Alyssa Ross

It’s time for our annual look back at the past 12 months…and it’s not news to anyone that 2020 was a year we could never have anticipated.

2020 has been a year of resilience. It’s true for people and businesses all around the world, and certainly for us at Dassault Systèmes. We’ve always been focused on relationships – with our customers and partners, as well as amongst our 20,000 employees across the world. But 2020 drove home just how important those connections are. Our mission is to be a catalyst for human progress. We proved that in many ways in 2020, despite the circumstances we found ourselves in.

From things to life

In early February, we unveiled our strategic direction for the coming years: transforming how people are cured and helping them live a better life by making the virtual twin experience of the human body possible.

Virtual twin experiences open up new possibilities for life sciences and healthcare by enabling research, medical, surgical and other health-related disciplines to understand, model, search, test and treat a human body as precisely, safely and effectively as other industrial disciplines already can with cars, buildings or airplanes.

“Our ambition to harmonize product, nature and life remains the same, while its scope is broadening. It has led us to develop a new understanding of life and nature. Today, we’re capable of applying the knowledge and know-how we acquired in the non-organic world to the living world, extending our focus from things to life. The virtual twin experience of the human body will enable us to invent new ways of representing life by understanding and representing the invisible, and make a lasting contribution for the benefit of all.” Bernard Charlès, CEO and chairman of the board, Dassault Systèmes

Just a few weeks ago, in conjunction with our sixth annual Living Heart Symposium, we released a paper sharing the progress towards creating a virtual twin of humans, and the promises this technology holds for the future of healthcare. You can discover that paper here.

Using the virtual world to improve the real world

” to inspire the search for solutions to ten of the world’s greatest challenges. Over the next two years, we will engage the public to encourage action around ten “Acts” focused on emotion, health, cities, nature, consumption, mobility, energy, water, heritage, future – and raise awareness about how virtual twin experiences empower people to create sustainable innovations for a better future.

We launched the initiative with a February concert in Paris featuring a 3D-printed violin (watch an excerpt of the stirring performance!) and followed up with part two in December, on water and consumption. Watch below our CEO Bernard Charles and world-famous explorer Mike Horn talk about why it’s so critical to preserve one of the world’s most precious resources and how virtual worlds offer a tremendous accelerator to shrink the world’s water footprint and support sustainability-focused innovation to grow our handprint.

In 2019, we launched a video series called Making a Difference to celebrate individuals who strive the make the world more sustainable and who use the virtual world to improve the real world. We added three more stories to this series this year: Benjamin David of XSun, Brune Ferre of Digital Orthopaedics and Christian Bagg of Bowhead; the latter is below and you can go here to watch the entire set of stories.

“We are a purpose-driven company with the ambition to be the catalyst and enabler of a sustainable world, working constantly to improve people’s lives by addressing major sustainability challenges with our customers.  We look forward to driving solutions in collaboration with other sustainability leaders.” Alice Steenland, Chief Sustainability Officer, Dassault Systèmes

This year we also took significant steps to further embed social and environmental sustainability into our technologies. In March we shared that we hired our first chief sustainability officer, Alice Steenland. In September, we announced we’ve joined the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a global organization focused on enabling digital sustainability. In October we joined the Ellen McArthur Foundation to drive systemic change and scale solutions globally. And in December, we became part of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, committing to set a target within 24 months to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to meet Paris Agreement goals.

Addressing COVID-19

It is impossible to talk about 2020 without talking about COVID-19. Of course, COVID had an impact on nearly everything we did this year. In April, we set up a page to share just some of the initiatives we embarked on to help people – our employees, customers, business partners, and their families and communities – during the pandemic. Initiatives ranged from supporting scientific innovation to protecting people and communities to helping maintain continuity in business and education. Here are a few highlights:

Supporting customer innovation

Our corporate mission is to provide business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. During 2020, we continued to help our customers sustainably innovate through the power of 3DEXPERIENCE – even when they were working remotely. We shared a lot of their stories this year across the 11 industries that we serve. To mention just a few: Chinese electric vehicle innovator Nio, CLAAS Tractor – a French subsidiary of Germany’s CLAAS Group, the US-based BOXXCRAFT app and Korean civil engineering company Dasan Consultants.

You can see all our customer stories here, both written and video. We’ve also shared one video below, about how luxury porcelain Bernardaud merges its historical know-how with new technologies such as 3D modeling to create complex shapes that were once impossible.

We also announced many relationship advances with customers, including:

Coming together

We always look forward to connecting with customers, prospects and partners while attending and hosting events across the world. Lockdowns and travel restrictions prevented us from doing this after February, but we were able to pivot and still host several successful virtual events.

  • We once again attended CES 2020, during which we revealed the results of a survey of 3000 consumers in the U.S., China and France that examines views on personalization in healthcare, mobility, retail, and home and city environments.
  • We held our first 3DEXPERIENCE World in February, building on the 20-year SOLIDWORKS World legacy, bringing together designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and business leaders who are using transformative 3D technologies, and now including new demonstrations for SOLIDWORKS users on achieving business innovation with 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • Manufacturing in the Age of Experience virtually welcomed a global audience of manufacturing thought leaders and decision-makers to explore the promise of sustainable operations and how 3DEXPERIENCE can change the business equation. The 6th edition of our exclusive event took our community on a unique Quest for Sustainable Operations. Watch a short recap of the event.
  • Science in the Age of Experience featured four days full of robust learning around the theme: science powering a sustainable and resilient world. Attendees explored how enabling scientific innovations to revolutionize how we make, work, and live our life experiences. Here’s our pick of the top sessions.

And the news keeps coming…

We were excited to relaunch our thought leadership magazine, Compass, in July as a digital-first publication with new features including new categories of content, a fresh design and robust searchability from our seven years of content. You can see a video about the new Compass, here. In addition to dozens of articles ranging on topics from the promise of 5G, the emergence of outcome-based engagement business models, and a rise in purpose-driven innovation, we released two special reports.

  • The Personalized Health Revolution: Even prior to COVID-19, healthcare systems around the world were stretched to the breaking point. Experts are increasingly looking to novel applications of emerging technologies to make healthcare more affordable, available, personalized and convenient. Through 17 articles, Compass looks at the trends and technologies that are beginning to shift healthcare’s future in a more sustainable direction.
  • Mastering Business Agility with Virtual Experience: When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it quickly overwhelmed the ability of most businesses to manage the massive disruption of workforces, supply chains, consumption and logistics. The only businesses agile enough to emerge unscathed were those with advanced virtual-experience strategies. Compass examined why business agility is so critical and what companies should be doing now – before the next wave of disruption arrives.

We made a number of significant announcements this year; among the highlights:

  • We acquired NuoDB to advance our 3DEXPERIENCE platform cloud and data science strategy
  • Fortune and BCG named us to the Fortune Future 50 list citing our 2019 acquisition of Medidata Solutions as a key reason, as it made us a player in clinical trial software just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We launched 3DEXPERIENCE Edu to drive a new era of experience-based learning to help both students and professionals gain job skills sought by industry and to help improve employability for the workforce of the future
  • We launched a partnership with Xometry to allow engineers to get their designs made faster through our on-demand Make Marketplace, taking a key step towards our goal of connecting all design and manufacturing stakeholders in one seamless process.

Even in a year with unprecedented challenges, you can see we’ve been very busy here at Dassault Systèmes! We’ll leave you with a short video featuring some of our employees sharing their hopes for the future. We hope you share our optimism and enthusiasm for bringing ideas to life to improve the human experience. We wish you and yours all the best this holiday season, and we look forward to brining you more experiences in 2021!

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