How external communities enrich Autodesk Research

Outsight Network: An innovation hub that connects research globally


The past few years have required creative thinking and a shift toward online collaboration. For Autodesk Research, it provided an opportunity to expand virtually and find new ways to discover deeper insights. During the company’s move from on-site to remote work, the Technology Centers created the Outsight Network, a community of global teams that innovate through collaboration.

The Outsight Network grew out of an in-person, on-site residency program designed to connect Autodesk to industry, customers, and researchers. By hosting startups, research teams, and customers at the Technology Centers, Autodesk activated those physical locations as facilities in part of a larger research and innovation ecosystem. 

“Resident teams now join us from all over the world to connect with fellow innovators to challenge their thinking, advance their skills, strategy, and business, and to access both our physical and virtual spaces to do so,” said Rick Rundell, Senior Director of Research Programs at Autodesk. “Despite closing on-site programs temporarily, we saw it as an opportunity to globalize—the residency program could then include people who were not located near the Technology Centers. This project became the Outsight Network.”

Rick Rundell

Senior Director of Research Programs at Autodesk

What’s particularly interesting for Autodesk Research is how these Outsight Network case studies can convey what’s happening in applied research with real world applications. 

“We help ground research with these real-world use cases and that is pretty compelling,” said Athena Moore, Manager of Network Community at Autodesk. “After the Technology Centers joined our core research group last year to form the new Autodesk Research team, we now share a single mission to highlight where opportunities exist for us to connect external, resident projects with our own research work. Now we are finding more efficiencies and new opportunities between our external partners and internal researchers.”

Athena Moore
Manager of Network Community at Autodesk

“The Outsight Network is an incredible resource that keeps Autodesk in touch with what’s going on in the rest of the world,” said Rick. “By bringing in that outside perspective, we can keep in touch with people who are innovating in areas that we’re innovating in, but perhaps in different ways.”

Rick Rundell
Senior Director of Research Programs at Autodesk

Learn more about the Outsight Network and some of the key projects undertaken by residents.

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