Amol Khanapurkar
Dassault Systèmes Foundation India

ConnectNext Program, empowering Students to be Future Ready

ConnectNext Program to address “Talent Readiness and Employability challenges” by empowering Students to be Future Ready

La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has launched ConnectNext program in India for co-creation of a vibrant ‘Industry-Academia eco system for future’ to address the “Talent Readiness and Employability challenges” experienced by the Industries and Academia eco system. We believe that both these challenges are interconnected and are two sides of the same coin. La Fondation Dassault Systemes is playing a catalysts role to create a vibrant “Industry and Academia collaboration Framework” and encouraging Industries and Academia to work together to address these challenges with appropriate contribution from Industries, Academia and La Fondation Dassault Systemes. La Fondation Dassault Systemes aims to help the Industry-Academia eco system to address these challenges by helping students to be “Industry Ready”, to be “Future Ready”.

ConnectNext presentation scheme


In conjunction with various Industry representatives and thought leaders from the Academia world, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has developed a well-designed Student Project Framework as part of the ConnectNext program for Industries and Academia, to collaborate on addressing the important challenges this ecosystem is facing over the years.


How Engineering Industries and Industry Professionals contribute:

  • they provide impactful project ideas;
  • they build libraries of projects defined by domain experts from different fields;
  • they nominate experts to be part of a mentor pool to guide students during projects;
  • they explore internship opportunities for students to be exposed to industrial environment/processes and knowhow (internships at an Industry campus or in remote mode).


Indian Academia's contribution:

  • Redefining Student Projects' Framework to enable them to easily choose industry defined projects;
  • Allowing external experts to be mentors for the projects;
  • Assigning the college faculty to be the local guide and to account for the project's execution, deliverables, by meeting the time lines;
  • Anticipating students' organization and timetables to avail internship opportunities (on site or in remote mode);
  • Bringing insights about a needed change of mindset for students and teachers.


Contribution of La Fondation Dassault Systemes, India:

- Creating a collaboration platform, be the facilitator for industries and Indian engineering universities / colleges / institutes for ‘many to many’ collaborations and mutual benefits of the Industry-Academia ecosystem;

- Building the framework and digital infrastructure for these collaborations;

- Creating a platform:

  • for industries to spot talent from academic systems / universities / institutes across India and
  • for students to present their demonstrated skills / know-how to industries across India

- Support with funding qualified and relevant projects to build working prototypes / VR experiences to demonstrate their innovation in action;

- Create a platform to bring projects out of college libraries into the field, for young people to use the verified projects for intended end use as ‘Open source’ product ideas;

- Through this entire process, helping students to be Industry Ready, explore upcoming technologies, encourage hands-on experiences, empowering them to be Future Ready;

- Encourage industries also, to support with funding of qualified and relevant projects.

The successful implementation of this program, with active participation of industry experts, will help students to gain valuable Industry experience while still being in college. Moreover, this will immensely benefit the involved industries.



ConnectNext Join

To participate and communicate your interest in being part of this impactful program, please use the dedicated links below:


Questions you might want to ask to know more about the ConnectNext Program: FAQ


1. What is the ConnectNext Program?

The ConnectNext Program is for empowering students to be ‘Future Ready’. As part of this program, we are co-creating vibrant Industry-Academia Eco system to address persistent problems the Industries’ and Academia world is facing, with Talent Readiness and Employability. We strongly believe that this can be addressed by empowering students to be ‘Future Ready’.

ConnectNext provides a platform to:

•          Spot and identify emerging Engineering talents across India

•          Experience demonstrated skills of Engineering students through projects executed by them, to the industries across India

For more details, please visit the ConnectNext Program Link.


2. What is the format of this Program?

We plan to conduct virtual conferences for all Industry members, Academia members and Students.

Industry representatives and leaders from various industries across India will be invited to witness emerging talent, which will be demonstrated by students through their projects. Qualified projects will be showcased in virtual exhibition to industry experts in these conferences.

We will also post these projects on our online portal.


3. What are the benefits for students through of this Program?

By participating in this program, students will get following benefits

  • Get chance to be considered for employment / internship / industry projects. 
  • Display your engineering skills and knowhow through your demonstrable projects. 
  • Catch Industry attention through your projects and presentation.
  • Show your understanding and adaptation for latest technologies in your solutions.
  • Learn to use new technologies such as AR, VR, Hologram, Digital TWIN and such others.


4. What are the benefits for Institutes / Colleges through this Program?

Institutes or Colleges get following benefits from this program:

  • Improve Industry Collaboration, be noticed by industry through program and attract them to campus.
  • Improve assessment benchmark by various accrediting agencies.
  • Improve employability, internship and industry project opportunities for students.


5. When is this Program starting?

This is a continuous program and virtual conference will be conducted every year. Dates will be communicated at least 25 days before the conference.


6. Who can nominate for this program? 

Engineering Colleges can nominate their students for this program.

We encourage students to contact their professors / Head of Department for submitting nomination: Nomination Link.


7. Which students can participate?

Students who are current studying full time in engineering colleges can participate in this initiative.


8. What is the last date for nomination?

There is no last date for nomination. We are running this program throughout the year. As soon as your project is complete, you should submit the nomination through your college. We plan to highlight qualified projects through various conferences across India, throughout the year.

The nominations received 2 months before next conference date will be considered for the next and subsequent conference.


9. Which Projects will be considered under this program? 

Projects done in following areas will have more weightage in this program:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Production Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Factory Automation & Simulation
  • Design
  • Simulation (FEA or Kinematic Simulation)
  • Energy (Alternative, Conventional)
  • Environmental Science
  • Civil Engineering
  • Metallurgy or Metal Science 
  • Multi-disciplinary projects involving combination of above streams


10. Which Projects will not be considered at all in this initiative? 

Projects involving only programming or only mobile applications will not be considered in this initiative.


11. At what stage of our project should we submit our nominations?

When the nomination is submitted, the complete design and engineering analysis of the project should be ready. Only completed projects will be considered for selection.

If physical prototype development is yet to be completed, you can still submit your nomination.

If you are yet to start the project, please submit nomination when you are ready with complete design and engineering analysis.

Since we plan to run this program throughout the years, you will get chance to participate in this program as soon as you complete your project.

Nominations window will be open throughout the year.


12. What all details of projects will be required to qualify?

Projects with following details will be preferred for selection:

  1. Project Concept with well-defined Objective
  2. Project Description in detail (Inspiration, new concept, detailed study)
  3. Design details with proper Engineering Calculations, Engineering analysis
  4. Design Analysis done (CAE/CFD/Kinematics Analysis).