Background information: Autodesk in Toronto

Autodesk’s vision is to help people imagine, design and create a better world. Over 170 million designers, engineers and visual artists subscribe to Autodesk’s desktop and cloud-based software to solve problems and create the things around us that make a better world. For more than 30 years, Autodesk software has helped designers, architects, engineers, visual artists, students and makers create everything from buildings and bridges to movies and video games. Autodesk is also well known for its popular drafting program AutoCAD®.

Autodesk’s Media and Entertainment division is based in Canada. Maya®, the company’s 3D animation, modelling, simulation and rendering software, was used to create blockbuster films including Avatar, Life of Pi and Titanic. Autodesk’s Media and Entertainment products have been used to win the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for 20 consecutive years and they are also used by the gaming industry to deliver the world’s most realistic game environments. Autodesk’s Alias® industrial design software, also developed in Toronto, provides sketching, modeling, surfacing, and visualization tools for industrial, product and automotive design.

Toronto has many examples of “disruptors” changing the way the world is designed and made in each of the industries Autodesk serves. Examples include:

Cleantech (supported by Autodesk’s Cleantech Partner Program and software):

  • ReDeTec. Desktop 3D printer filament recycler, the Protocycler.
  • GTRenergy. Power Channel blades designed to increase wind turbine performance.
  • Hydrostor. The world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage system.
  • Entogen. Designs technologies to fight against the risk of global food shortages.

Medical industry and prosthetics:

  • 3D Printed Prosthetics. U of T researchers create 3D printed limb sockets to help amputees in Uganda and potentially across the developing world.
  • The Parametric Human Project. Advancing medical research through the development of a digital human model that can serve as the basis for numerous innovation applications.


Media & Entertainment:

  • alter ego. Leading Canadian colour and VFX post production facility.

“This terrific news from Autodesk is a huge boost to Ontario’s innovation ecosystem and also a perfect fit for the diverse range of innovators and entrepreneurs collaborating at MaRS. The capabilities Autodesk brings to the table typify why a strong IT sector is imperative for Ontario’s long-term competitiveness — this is technology that enables advancement and discovery in virtually every other sector of our economy.”
— Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

“Collaboration is at the heart of many incredible Ontario success stories. We are so pleased to welcome Autodesk to MaRS Discovery District and look forward to seeing the exciting partnerships fostered by their close proximity to much of Ontario’s best research and innovation talent. I would like to personally welcome Autodesk and wish them all the best as they embark on this exciting new phase.”
— Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation

Read the press release.