Innovative Initiatives to Boost Education for the Underprivileged and Employment for the Disabled
Paris, France – April 11, 2007 - Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced its commitment to promote equal opportunities in education. The company also stated its ambition to deliver a tailored response to the needs of France’s most underprivileged youth and reported headway made for initiatives already underway in this area.
To pursue this challenging commitment, Dassault Systèmes is taking a straightforward approach. Through concrete actions, the software company intends to bring young people into contact with the world of industry, share knowledge about the business working environment and allow them to benefit from its innovative solutions, ultimately helping them be better prepared to enter the world of work.
First initiatives deliver promising results
Director of Dassault Systèmes Learning, Xavier Fouger said: “Two seemingly contradictory factors have triggered the success of these initiatives: our technologies are remarkably easy to use, making them accessible to everyone, and the industrial projects that employ these technologies are highly complex, which is a compelling source of motivation for trainees.”
"Course en cours" (literally, “racing in class”), is a joint project with the University of Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines to enable 200 secondary and high-school students from government-designated priority education areas to acquire first-hand experience of state-of-the-art technologies. “Course en Cours” brings together 43 teams in a broad, multi-disciplinary project to design (using DS’s CATIA software), manufacture and race miniature high-powered CO2 cars as part of inter-school competitions. The project has proved a huge success among participants. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have the chance to study the different ways of designing a car using software like CATIA. It’s a real team effort, and what’s more we get to see our car in action!” said a high-school student from a Paris suburb high-school. “It’s been highly instructive,” says a teacher from Mantes en Yvelines. “The teams are all really motivated and there’s been a strong sense of team unity. We really should extend the project to other schools,” he added. Participants are assigned a tutor, a student from the Mantes en Yvelines Technical University (IUT), to support and guide them throughout the project. “It’s a really rewarding experience, as it gives us first-hand experience of project management, while the school students get to learn what it’s like to study engineering, making the prospect less daunting,” commented one project tutor.
“3D Assistant” is a training program for disabled persons currently enrolled in a study program. It provides instruction in computing skills and 3D desktop applications. 3D is increasingly used for documents across the enterprise (marketing, engineering office, production planning office, sales, product support, etc.). Training students in these applications gives the disabled a significant advantage and enhances their career prospects.
Dassault Systèmes has also launched a Sponsorship program that encourages its employees to volunteer in selected Parisian secondary schools to talk to students about life in a high-tech company. The initiative is designed to give school students a first-hand glimpse at the world of work and to help them make their career choices. The program is also intended to inspire youngsters to take up careers in scientific and high-tech fields.
The signing of the Charter for Equal Opportunities in Education launched by the French Education Ministry and the Pact for the Employment of Disabled People illustrates Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to support employment opportunities for underprivileged communities. Dassault Systèmes Executive Vice-President, Organization & Human Resources, Muriel Pénicaud, said: “Far more than just a symbolic gesture, our commitment to these initiatives, coupled with the tangible results achieved in our other educational projects, underscore Dassault Systèmes’ pledge to promote diversity. Our involvement also gives concrete shape to the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility: investing in education is an investment for future generations!”
These initiatives are coordinated by Dassault Systemes Learning, a dedicated team with the mission to deliver the skills and know-how needed to ensure excellence among students, instructors and customers using Dassault Systèmes solutions worldwide.
CATIA is a 3D design software platform. CATIA allows manufacturers to simulate all industrial design processes, from the pre-project phase through detailed design, analysis and assembly. CATIA spans the full spectrum of technical and concentration requirements and integrates seamlessly with all other Dassault Systèmes software solutions.