NSERC hands Synergy Award for Innovation to Autodesk Research and U of T

20-year partnership between University of Toronto and Autodesk Research recognized for research and development of visual modeling technology.

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by Design Engineering Staff

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Autodesk, Inc., has awarded a partnership between Autodesk Research group and the University of Toronto with one of the four annual Synergy Awards for Innovation.

A 20-year partnership between Alias/Autodesk Research and the University of Toronto has resulted in numerous developments in the expanding field of visual modelling, which have been applied to advance the fields of film production, animation, architecture, medicine and others.

Begun by Eugene Fiume from the University of Toronto’s Dynamic Graphics Project and Gordon Kurtenbach and Bill Buxton from Autodesk, this unique partnership has produced volumes of research, dozens of highly skilled computer scientists, numerous patents and awards that include a Technical Academy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Film Animation.

More than 100 papers have been co-authored by Autodesk Research and alumni from the University of Toronto. Autodesk Research has provided internships across many disciplines, including computer graphics, human computer interaction, physical simulation, green initiatives, and computer aided geometric design. Many interns from the University of Toronto ultimately were employed at Autodesk in Toronto. More than 100 graduates of the University of Toronto have worked at Alias/Autodesk, over half of whom are still at the company.

The Synergy Awards for Innovation were launched in 1995 by NSERC to recognize partnerships in natural sciences and engineering research and development between universities and industry. Since their inception, the awards have honoured the most outstanding achievements of university-industry collaboration in the natural sciences and engineering. Winners receive $200,000 research grants.