Dassault Systèmes Shifts Focus From Things to Life

2020 Analyst Conference Event Brief

By: Daniel R. Matlis, President

At the 2020 Dassault Systèmes Analyst conference, Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, presented his bold and audacious ambition for the next 10 years. “Dassault Systèmes will focus on developing its leadership in Life Sciences & Healthcare alongside two other strategic sectors of the economy: Manufacturing Industries and Infrastructure & Cities,” proclaimed Charlès. 

While this shift may be surprising to many, at Axendia, we have witnessed first-hand Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to pursue Life-Sciences with Mind, Body, and Soul for over a decade.  In 2014, I had the opportunity to Hover Through the Human Heart. In 2019, the Medidata acquisition provided The Missing Link in Dassault Systèmes Powerful Portfolio to Support the Life Sciences Industry

Under Charlès’ leadership, the company displays a rare culture focused on long term audacious goals, driven by unbridled passion yet measured by meticulous execution. Charlès has helped instill a culture of ongoing innovation to further consolidate Dassault Systèmes’ scientific capabilities and make science part of the company’s DNA.  

To achieve this goal, Dassault Systèmes (3DS) is shifting and will leverage the virtual twin experience as a new way of representing the world. Charlès laid out 3DS’s vision in a manifesto titled “Things to Life” where he explains: 

What is the difference between things and life? Life is not made of parts: the human body is one piece and hyper connected. Life doesn’t do standardization: it’s personalized design, production and usage. And life isn’t “used” but lived. Life is an experience. So, to improve life, we have to invent new ways of representing reality. We have to invent the virtual twin experience of life. 

3DS is setting its sights on the world’s most complex thing: the human body.  To this end, Dassault Systèmes plans to apply the lessons it has learned, over nearly four decades, bringing digital platforms to solve the challenges of designing, building, and maintaining the complex things humans have made. 


The primary challenge in the shift from things to life is the fact that success when manufacturing complex products is measured in the lowest possible variability.  However, when it comes to people, our success is based on our great diversity and uniqueness.  In fact, no two humans are exactly the same, even if they started life sharing the same DNA. As a result, each human body requires personalized care based on each person’s unique chemistry, physiology, and psychology. 

The transition to personalized care will require the transformation of Life-Sciences and Healthcare.  “Transforming the healthcare industry will be a challenge, but inaction is not an option,” said Claire Biot, Vice President, Life Sciences industry. “Globally, governments and providers are struggling to keep pace with soaring healthcare costs, growing patient populations and an aging society. To remake the entire system, we need better and faster ways of discovering and developing treatments, serving patients, and customizing care,” she added. 

To support the transition to personalized healthcare affordably, 3DS is developing a virtual twin experience of the human body with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that can be customized to drive the care for each individual.  This virtual human model brings together biosciences, material sciences and information sciences to project the data from an object into a complete living virtual model that can be fully configured and simulated.  The company is working with regulators, industry, researchers, physicians, and patients support in silico testing

Another aspect of personalized medicine is the emerging Cell and Gene Therapy market, where the patient is both the raw material and the finished product. “Dassault Systèmes is engaged directly with customers delivering solutions to a number of cell/gene therapies challenges.  This includes all aspects of cell therapies from patient draw at the clinic, apheresis, vector insertion, cell processing through finished patient product in which we are monitoring the production process, performing raw material, quality & release testing and tracking chain of custody throughout the process,” shared Biot. 


Dassault Systèmes continues to deliver on its vision to utilize the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to improve human life.  The company’s 10 year track record of bringing to life solutions that improve the human experience, through organic growth, funding and acquisitions, has it well poised to transition its focus from “Things to Life” in the next decade. 

The company strives to leverage the experiences and knowledge it has gained in its core industries, such as Aerospace & Defense and Transportation & Mobility, to support innovation in Life-Science and Healthcare by engineering the Personalized Medicine imperative. 

The future looks bright for Dassault Systèmes as it continues to develop its leadership in Life Sciences & Healthcare.  We will continue to monitor and report how Dassault Systèmes executes on its commitment to making its vision a reality for its customers and ultimately, each patient. 

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