New Foundation funds nonprofits using ‘design for impact’
3D design software firm Autodesk, Inc. has launched the Autodesk Foundation to invest in nonprofits using design to solve global challenges such as access to clean water and energy, urbanization, efficient transportation, and access to education and healthcare.
“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,” said Lynelle Cameron, CEO of the Autodesk Foundation and Autodesk senior director of sustainability.
Through the Foundation’s Impact Design Program, selected nonprofits will receive funding, software and training to create measurable and scalable solutions.
Autodesk said KickStart International, one of the foundation’s pilot grantees, exemplifies impact design by designing simple agricultural irrigation tools that help African farmers start profitable businesses and rise out of poverty.
The program’s first grantees also include:
- 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 and a safe hospital birth.
- 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 joint for those in the developing world.
- The Rural Studio at Auburn University, whose 20K House program challenges students to design energy efficient homes that can be built for $20,000. Autodesk is helping to fund the construction of one of these housing prototypes in rural Alabama.
Autodesk’s Technology Impact Program
Autodesk launched its Technology Impact Program to provide software to select nonprofits during the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, where it committed to donating $7.5 million in software to at least 500 nonprofits in the first year of the program.
Qualifying nonprofits get two licenses of Autodesk’s professional design software suites: Autodesk Product Design Suite Premium, Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium, and Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate.