The Trebbia Bridge

By Kate

Instead of Back to the Future, the people of Italy’s Piacenza region are Leaping to the Future thanks to a virtual bridge.

You don’t need a DeLorean to get there, just 3DVIA Virtools and a few engineers, architects and urban planners.

For over 30 years, the people of Piancenza have been waiting for the construction of a bridge to cross the Trebbia river. Price-tagged at 26.5 million Euros, the bridge promises to bring significant improvements to local infrastructure.

The virtual bridge was “constructed” to anticipate work procedures, but it will also be used to feed local curiosity. Once the 2-3-year period construction phase begins, citizens will be able to take virtual tours through the Piancenza government’s website.  You can take a video sneak prevue here.

Now if only I could take a virtual tour of the Greater Paris architecture competition! And what about letting citizens vote for their favorite proposition?

Have you ever gotten to do that, as a citizen and consumer of urban development?



Driving for Green: Changing car-use habits?

By Jonathan

So you drive your car to work everyday, once a week you fill the boot/trunk with enough food to sustain your starving teenage children, now and again you take the car and the family on a well earned holiday to the mountains or the seaside – like for all of us the car is an integral part of your life.

But, with China, India and other developing countries wanting a piece of the action there’s going to have to be a lot of give and take.

So,why not lead the change instead of suffering it…

What would make you change your current car-use habits? This is how you answered the survey question number 3:

Offering alternatives really seems to have been the focus of the vast majority of you; i.e. better public transport. In other words, you all want to do your bit to help but today’s alternatives are really not viable…I can relate to that, my trip to work by public transport is bearable but at least there is public transport! This can’t be said for the people who live outside large cities.

So these people will have to turn to flexible car leasing options, i.e. tiny car to go to work in (if you can’t share with another commuter) and a bigger car for family leisure.

And lastly, hike up the price of fuel to “force” change-resistors to change. I don’t really like this, or at least I don’t like it on it’s own. If there are no alternatives we’ll just see businesses fold as they won’t be able to cover their running costs any more. But in fact the price of fuel has never been cheaper than it is today, in 1955 fuel cost 3 times more than it does today relative to earnings. What I’d like to see is the current taxation removed and replaced with a “cleaning-it-all-up-when-it’s-gone” tax, so that this money can be injected into research and actions to clean up the CO2.

Here are some of your additional comments: increase the offer of greener cars and make them affordable, no more fuel for transportation (why burn all those nice molecules…), ecologic company cars.

Sustainably yours,


P.S. In case you missed the poll and the anaysis for Q1 & Q2, here are the articles:Driving for Green: a mini poll, Driving for Green: Poll answers for Q1 & Driving for Green: Do You Have Range Anxiety?

The Secret Sauce?

By Derek

OK, I know Perspectives is supposed to be about 3D and Innovation. But, I gotta be up front. I’m going to skip the 3D for a second.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the COE User Group – an anniversary that was celebrated at last week’s COE Annual Spring Conference and Technifair. This year’s event was held in Seattle with Dassault Systèmes and IBM, COE’s founding partners, in attendance (of course). Despite the tough economic times, a whole host of COE members and DS partners showed up. Sure, fewer than last year, but… the dedication and vibrancy of the organization was only more evident in these times. Even some competitors showed up, hoping to sneak in and see the latest on the PLM front from the industry leader and its customers.

I was struck by the community’s dedication. Some of these guys have been coming to this event for 20+ years! I know there are similar user orgs with similar levels of dedication out there in the software world (especially in the CAD world… SolidWorks users, I’m lookin’ at you!). But, for a company that focuses so much on collaboration, seeing the interaction going on between DS and its users was revealing. No wonder DS believes so strongly in collaboration as an enabler of innovation. We’ve plainly benefited from this very paradigm.

I watched Kevin Fowler of Boeing Commercial Aircraft discuss his company’s cutting edge implementation of Dassault Systèmes’ PLM solutions on the 787 aircraft program. And you know, he didn’t sugar coat it. He didn’t give a standard customer event puff piece. He laid it out. Good (lots!) and not so good (some challenges which they –successfully – faced). But he wrapped it up with an honest assessment, as captured by Rita Stange of ConnectPress in her summary article: “he concluded by saying that he can’t speak highly enough of the V5 capabilities.”

I watched users stand in the hall and talk to their DS counterparts about migration issues, about new functionality, about requests for changes.

I listened to open exchanges between board members and senior DS execs. I saw (tough) questions asked and answered. I saw competitor FUD dispelled by simply discussing the issues clearly, in the light of day (well, maybe ‘light of the main stage’). I saw decisions made, action items slated, all before a large audience.

Every comment, every idea, every suggestion going towards better software, better solutions, better strategies.

There is no doubt in my mind that DS’s passion for innovation and collaboration stems partly from this constant interaction. We are only half the innovation equation. Would we lead the PLM marketplace without this? Without the collaboration between our users and us? Would DS be nearly what it is without 25 years of collaborative innovation?


Derek Lane is Dassault Systèmes’ Americas PR manager and a regular COE attendee.

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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.