Autodesk, Inc. has launched Autodesk Foundation which will invest in and support efforts and initiatives of the most impactful nonprofit organizations using the power of design technology to help solve epic challenges, such as climate change, access to water, and healthcare, among others. In partnership with the company, the Autodesk Foundation will provide select design-oriented grantees with software, training and financial support. This global program also includes Autodesk’s commitment to donating $7.5 million in software to at least 500 non-profits in the first year.
The Autodesk Foundation (www.autodesk.org) is a newly created 501c3 private foundation that supports design-driven Nonprofit organizations in India, Africa, Haiti, amongst others. It is a tax-free nonprofit legal entity governed separately from Autodesk Inc. As a private foundation, it is funded exclusively by Autodesk, Inc. and the Board of Directors are all Autodesk executives.
“We believe that design offers humanity our greatest hope for addressing some of the most urgent, inter-connected and non-negotiable challenges of our time,” says President and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation and Autodesk Senior Director of Sustainability, Lynelle Cameron. “We want to support and accelerate the design-led revolution currently underway, by investing in design-driven entities that are pursuing scalable solutions with measureable impact.”
There are four primary programs that will be supported by the Autodesk Foundation:
The Technology Impact Program, offered through Autodesk, Inc., provides qualifying nonprofit organizations easy access to Autodesk technology. This program equips nonprofit organizations with our software.
It shall continue to provide support to areas affected by unexpected disasters. Autodesk shall leverage its core design and engineering strengths in times of need, and provide support through volunteering, software grants and financial donations.
With the world facing some of the most pressing challenges of our time, design can play a critical role in creating solutions. The Impact Design Program supports the most impactful people and organizations using design to solve epic challenges through social efforts. These organizations are selected by the Foundation.
The program’s first grantees include: D-Rev, which designs and develops devices and products to improve the health and income of people living on less than $4 a day. Autodesk has helped fund crucial durability testing of the next generation of the organization’s ReMotion Knee, an inexpensive and easy-to-fit prosthetic for those in the developing world. The beneficiaries of this project are 5000 Indians.
For amputees in developing countries, modern prosthetics can be prohibitively expensive and prosthetic clinics are not always accessible. The ReMotion Knee is a low-cost and high-performance knee joint and D-Rev endeavors to partner with clinics and prosthetic experts to make it available in the country.
• Among the Foundation’s pilot grantees is KickStart International who truly exemplifies impact design. KickStart designs simple agricultural irrigation tools that help African farmers start profitable businesses and rise out of poverty.
• MASS Design Group, which designs health facilities in parts of the world where they’re needed most. The Autodesk Foundation is supporting its efforts in rural Malawi to design maternal waiting homes, which are shelters for expectant mothers, enabling women who once waited until the onset of labor to travel to receive medical care, a safe hospital birth.
Autodesk encourages all its employees worldwide to play an active role in creating a better world at work, at home and in the community. The company supports the employees to volunteer and donate to the causes and organizations they care most about. It also provides tools, resources, and benefits that encourage participation in ways that best map to their interests.
“With nine billion people soon to inhabit our planet, we face epic challenges – urbanization, climate change, disaster response, water access, healthcare, challenges that cannot be solved with just incrementally better products or systems. We at Autodesk believe that smart design is critical to deliver the breakthrough answers we need. The Autodesk Foundation will support people and organizations in India that use this design-driven approach to build high-impact, scalable solutions,” says Pradeep Nair, Managing Director, Autodesk, India and SAARC.