2003 - Francis Bernard - France

 Mr. Francis Bernard


 Dassault Systèmes

Francis Bernard graduated in 1965 from France’s renowned Ecole Nationale de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace. Two years later, he joined Dassault Aviation as an aerodynamics engineer and participated in the computer technology revolution, which started during the same period, to form the aircraft manufacturer’s Computer Aided Design & Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) department. In 1977, he conceived the company’s first 3D design system, called CATIA, a critical technology breakthrough and a business transformation revolutionizing the way to design and manufacture in 3D. En 1981, Francis BERNARD cofounded Dassault Systèmes, at this time a subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, with a modest 20-employee workforce.

A long-time President of Dassault Systèmes, and under his technical leadership, together with a marketing and distribution alliance with IBM to sell CATIA worldwide to all the industries, the start-up company evolved into a world-class player which became number one in the early 90’s. In 1995 the company was listed on the Nasdaq stock market and in Paris. Its workforce comprised more than 8000 employees in 2006.

Francis Bernard retired from Dassault Systèmes in 2006.

Since then he is an Executive Advisor and a Board Director of several software editors. He is also a Board Director of a Capital Ventures company based in Paris, CapHorn Invest, which invests in start-up’s addressing numerical innovations and new usages.

Francis Bernard was honoured with the 1997 Award from the “Académie Nationale de l’Air et de l’Espace” in France, with the 1997 Award from the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and the National Air & Space Museum of the USA as being the “inventor of CATIA”, with the 1998 « Chaptal de l’Industrie de la Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale » in France and with the 2013 General Nicolau Award from the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP).