La Fondation Dassault Systèmes participates in IUCN’s World Conservation Congress

Understand and preserve nature with virtual universes

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) takes place in Marseille, France, September 3-11. The world’s largest environmental decision-making forum brings together several thousands of leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, scientists, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.

La Fondation Dassault Systèmes will participate in this milestone event to highlight the actions and milestones underway to spread awareness and guide the development of new goals and measures for a sustainable and healthy future to benefit people and nature. The WCC comes ahead of the United Nations conferences on biodiversity and climate, which will take place in Kunming (China) in October and Glasgow (Scotland) in November.

Mission Ocean

The partners of Mission Ocean include La Fondation Dassault Systèmes, the Ifremer research center, the French Ministry of Education, Onisep and Réseau Canopé will be present at the WCC in the Nature Generation areas from September 4 to 8.

The Mission Ocean program echoes the aspirations of understanding and protecting natural areas through the enlightened awareness of the young generations. It aims to facilitate the learning of students through virtual universes and to allow them to deepen their knowledge in disciplines such as mathematics, physics-chemistry, geography, natural sciences, earth sciences while discovering the major challenges of the oceans.

“Experience is the best way to learn, which is why Mission Ocean uses 3D and virtual worlds,” explains Thibault de Tersant, President of La Fondation Dassault Systèmes. “Virtual twins allow us to test hypotheses, find solutions and, therefore, improve the real world. They also make it possible to visualize and even ‘move around’ in inaccessible places. And lastly, because they are fun, they facilitate the learning process for students. With Mission Ocean, raising awareness of the major issues facing the oceans through virtual worlds supports the learning of fundamental disciplines.”

“We only have 10 years left to achieve these goals,” adds Thibault de Tersant. “That is why the use of virtual worlds is more critical than ever to accelerate learning and research. By making these new learning methods available to students, Mission Ocean aims to support them and help prepare them to take charge of their future and become the citizens and workforce of tomorrow.”

Mission Ocean (hall 2, booth D2) will present three experiences that illustrate the content developed with the program partners. Each study case proposes to deepen students' knowledge in different subjects (mathematics, natural sciences, physics and chemistry, history and geography). They are structured around science and technology with a strong emphasis on sustainable development to connect a deeper understanding to a career possibility. These demonstrations highlight the partners' concern to link interest in science and technology and the desire to encourage a strong commitment to sustainable development through collaborative, innovative and fun learning.                                                                                                                                                            

  • Like a fish in water provides insight into research inspired by the tropical pufferfish’s nest to protect coastal areas from erosion and rising water levels. The modeling and simulation of the nest illustrates how biomimetic thinking transforms an intuition into an innovative and functional process.
  • The archeology of the abyss is based on the 3D wreck of La Lune, a ship of Louis XIV's fleet sunk off Toulon. Participants can pilot an underwater robot to explore the submerged and inaccessible wreck. The interactive animation gives students the opportunity to learn notions of mathematics (for spatial orientation and localization) as well as geometry and history together within a same experiment.
  • Underwater robotics involves the manipulation of a robot arm to collect marine samples. Attendees can observe this demonstration through a videoconference platform. The activity is directly linked to Ifremer’s HROV (hybrid remotely operated vehicle) work during its oceanographic campaigns.


Beyond Mission Ocean, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes supports and develops numerous educational projects related to the understanding and preservation of our environment throughout the world.

Here are two examples from India and the United States that highlight additional examples of education that is both sustainable and social, for the benefit of the environment and local populations.

Self-sufficient Smart Villages in India

To address challenges faced by villages in terms scarcity of continuous access to electricity, water, and waste disposal, India has developed the concept of bringing technology by developing Self Sufficient Smart Villages. The goal is to discover and then implement solutions in rural villages that improve the quality of life by addressing such challenges, fostering education, and creating an access to technology.


La Fondation Dassault Systèmes in India is working with the Vigyan Ashram School in Pabal (Pune) where they teach courses including engineering, fabrication, construction, basic carpentry and agriculture. The students of Vigyan Ashram develop solutions to produce, consume and recycle according to a circular economy focus. They can therefore imagine and experiment systems that will provide the village with solutions to modify local practices to reduce dependence on the electric grid yearly by 10%, to reuse of 100% grey water, simplify composting and significantly reduce the amount of non-recovered waste.

Games to Focus Children on Ocean Conservation in the United States

The ability to engage a population to care about the ocean and maintain that engagement over time is a true challenge. To catch the attention of children aged 4-12 for its preservation through STEM themes, Massachusetts based Olin College of Engineering is developing experiences that are inspired by rare, deep-sea creatures that defy imagination and feature in situ imagery, video, and 3D scans of deep sea animals that have been attained using state-of-the-art robotic vehicles.

Through a set of five different multimodal, progressive, play-oriented learning experiences that feature hands-on physical toys paired with video and 3D models, children can bring the mystery, wonder, and beauty of the ocean world into their living room.

About La Fondation Dassault Systèmes

Since 2015, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has been supporting the transformation of education, research, and the way we study cultural heritage. Beyond new skills, constructive collaborations, and an aspiration to reimagine and support a more sustainable world, the aim is above all to instill a spark around science and technologies for future generations. At the core of knowledge transmission, virtual worlds enable to better comprehend the world, and to push back the boundaries of understanding, thanks to stakeholders’ active commitment.

As a catalyst for know-how and passion, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes values involvement and sharing spirit, notably through skills sponsorship, to place human interactions at the heart of learning.

It operates through three foundations in Europe, India and the United States.