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In the Fold: Autodesk news and opinions

Autodesk is committed to enabling innovation by making technology accessible to all. In India, we are actively collaborating with the government, industry bodies and educational institutes to promote the use of 3D Design technologies for superior product design and development.

Dr W R Reddy, NIRD & PR Director General (left) and Joachim Jake Layes, Global Director of Sustainability, Autodesk (right) initiating the MoU to support rural innovators.

Recently, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR) in Hyderabad, India, to set up a Design Center to train 1000+ start-ups and SMEs, focused on rural innovation. The Design Center is intended to be a lab that will nurture start-ups that are developing solutions for rural India. NIRD&PR is an autonomous organization under the Union Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, and is a national center of excellence in rural development. It is also recognized internationally as one of the Centres of Excellence under United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).

Autodesk will provide software support to rural innovators while NIRD&PR would provide the necessary infrastructure to host the Design Centre and the required manpower as master trainers. There are various stages of innovations and through this MoU, we will help these start-ups get to the next level by bringing in domain experts, investors and the partnership with NIRD&PR.

  • In addition to extending software support, Autodesk India will also provide a train-the-trainer program and 5 licenses of Fusion 360 to the 5 Master trainers at the Design Centre.
  • Input AgriTech (an organization in support of agriculture technology R&D) is also part of this MoU, and would work as an extended arm into the rural areas. They will identify hardware innovators, train them and support them in product design and development phase.
  • Together with Input AgriTech, the NIRD&PR will select eligible start-ups to join the Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact Program. This program provides software donations, technical training, and marketing support to entrepreneurs creating positive impact in the social and environmental sectors.

Agriculture and allied sectors account for nearly 14% of India’s GDP and employs about 50% of its workforce. It is the broadest economic sector in India and there are a lot of opportunities to boost productivity through technology adoption and product innovation. This initiative would not only help bring the latest software design tools into the sector, but also help align the innovations with Government of India led campaigns such as Make in India and Startup India.

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