Dassault Systèmes used the opening day of its inaugural ‘Science In The Age Of Experience’ conference to restate its commitment, and expand the company focus, to life sciences and its ambition to encourage wider uptake of its 3DExperience cloud-based simulation platform in order to accelerate science-based innovations.
Dassault also took the opportunity to pitch the described synergy between two of its brands, Biovia and Simulia, to deliver what the company calls “atoms-to-product” research, using multi scale and multi physics, modelling and simulation. Dassault identified the key trends on which it intends to focus its energies as precision medicine (delivering patient-specific drugs), additive manufacturing, advanced materials and the Internet of Things.
In keeping the cost of the cloud-based 3DExperience platform low, Dassault hopes to leverage the power of crowd-sourced knowledge through discovery in order to profit from any resulting breakthroughs. Biovia offers a scientific collaborative environment, while Simulia offers a virtual testing and simulation environment.
Bernard Charlès, president and CEO of Dassault Systèmes, referred to the changes, perceived by some industry commentators as a seismic shift in company focus, as, “the new Dassault Systèmes”.
Speaking at the press conference at the end of the conference’s opening day, Charlès elaborated on Dassault’s road map, saying, “We have the luxury to be a controlled company, so we can take significant risk. People don’t necessarily look at this seriously. When I decided to invest 1.5 billion [euros] in life science, I don’t think you do that if you have all your capital floated on the market. But we made that decision and it took me less than 15 minutes to decide this with the board. So those are indisputable [sic] proofs that we are serious.
“When we took the risk to create a platform, people described it in the way they wanted to see it, but it’s not necessarily the reason why we are doing it. If you go back to the roots of the decision, it’s more visible today and it’s going to become more and more visible why.”
The unifying nature of Dassault’s intentions with 3DExperience was underlined by the two keynote speakers at the event. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Professor Martin Karplus delivered the first keynote of the day, detailing his theoretical methods, while in the second keynote Procter & Gamble’s Mark Meili talked about simulation-led innovation and how simulation modelling enables the company to deliver better products to its consumers. It was an illustration of the (sometimes stilted) relationship between theoretical science and commercial application.
This commercial end-game is in keeping with Dassault’s promotion of the 3DExperience platform as being a provision to business and people of different “universes to imagine sustainable innovation capable of harmonising product, nature and life.” There was talk throughout the conference’s first day of harnessing the evolutionary strength and innate adaptability of nature, bio-mimicry being a key topic.
At the press conference, Charlès elaborated further on Dassault’s future intentions, as the company seeks to expand its presence even further into previously untapped markets.
“You may have noticed that we have four special events this year,” Charlès said. “We did one in Milan a few weeks ago, called Design In The Age Of Experience, during the Design Week in Milan. We connected with so many new profiles of people, the non-traditional designers of the world. It was very enlightening, creating a completely different dynamic. This week, we thought Boston is an outstanding place to introduce this idea of Science In The Age Of Experience. In Shanghai, around November, during the Manufacturing Week we will be doing Manufacturing In The Age Of Experience. In London next year, during the Marketing Week, we will be doing Marketing In The Age Of Experience.
“Despite the deep scientific aspect of many of the things we do, how could we orchestrate the dream that we have in a way that can become relevant? It’s much more profound than just the wording of marketing. It’s really about which value do we want to bring to the society through the businesses. And with whom do we want to work to make this happen? I think that’s the new Dassault Systèmes.”