Feb 16, 2011

Autodesk Launches Clean Tech Partner Program in Japan

Program Provides Japanese Companies with Design Software to Address Environmental Challenges.

TOKYO - Autodesk, Inc announced the expansion of its Clean Tech Partner Program to Japan. The Japan program marks the first step in a planned expansion into Asia Pacific. The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program provides Digital Prototyping software to clean technology companies, with the goal of accelerating innovation and addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

The program is open to all early-stage clean tech companies in Japan and has an initial focus on the electric vehicle market, in which Japan is a proven leader. SIM-Drive and Nano-Optonics Energy are the first Japanese companies to have joined the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program. SIM-Drive develops in-wheel motors for electric vehicles. Nano-Optonics Energy is a nanotechnology, environment and energy research and development company.

Autodesk defines the clean tech industry as companies engaged in developing products or services to address the causes of environmental problems through technology and related business models. Launched in July 2009, the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program has provided design software to hundreds of clean technology entrepreneurs in North America and Europe, including:

* KOR EcoLogic, who designed the first prototype car with a body created using a 3D printer and that uses a hybrid electric/gasoline engine;
* Springboard Biodiesel, a producer of processors that turn vegetable oil into biodiesel; and
* Pyrum Innovations, a start-up working on a new recycling process for used tires.

Morio Kizawa, president of Autodesk Japan, said, “As the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Japan is committed to being a part of the solution to this global challenge. Japanese companies are redefining themselves through environmental leadership. For example, Japan accounts for 70 percent of the electric vehicle patents filed globally. The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program aims to help Japanese clean tech entrepreneurs create a more sustainable world. It enables companies to accelerate innovation and bring their unique technologies to the global market, while reducing costs and development time.”

Autodesk software helps customers design, visualize and simulate their projects before they are built, rather than using physical prototypes. Since as much as 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is determined by decisions in the design phase, the potential impact of this shift is profound. In the automotive industry, Autodesk software enables companies to optimize car design, while enabling faster and more numerous iterations without the need for more costly physical prototypes.

Blaine McFarlane, mechanical engineer, KOR EcoLogic, said, “Being part of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program has allowed us to build our start-up company with a solid software foundation that will easily scale as we grow; from prototype design to mass production. We are using Autodesk software to design our prototype vehicle, simulate its performance, and produce stunning digital renderings. Partnering with Autodesk has brought us one step closer to our goal of building Urbee, the greenest car on the planet.”

“The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program is a great opportunity for SIM-Drive,” said Hiroshi Shimizu, president of SIM-Drive. “Using software such as Autodesk Alias, we’re benefiting from Digital Prototyping. We hope that the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program encourages more clean tech start-ups to deploy their concepts.”

Hiroshi Fujiwara, president of Nano-Optonics Energy, said, “The cost of design software can be a burden on small and early-stage companies. Taking part in the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program has given us access to optimal design and engineering software. We believe the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program is an effective initiative to help clean tech companies grow and bring their ideas to fruition.”