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AI caught up again with Laurent Puons, general manager, IMAGINA

IMAGINA 2009 – the European 3D Community Event – is slated to be held early next year in Monaco. This year’s edition of Imagina started on 31st January and ended on 1st February in Monaco and witnessed a 15 per cent increase in attendance compared to 2007. The focus at IMAGINA 2008 was on four sectors – industry, architecture, landscape and territory and media and entertainment.

The automotive sector was particularly well represented with numerous manufacturers involved in the development of 3D technologies present. “This year over 40 % of our exhibitors have a direct link to the automotive industry. We are setting up a village Scaner Partners which will feature such major players as Antycip Simulation (United Kingdom), Innosimulation (Korea), Oktal (France), Rexroth (Netherlands) and Smart Eye AB (Sweden). The list of participants includes, among many others, such names as Forum 8 (Japan), Craft Animations (Sweden), Autodesk (Europe), Dassault Systems (Europe), ICEM (Germany),” said Laurent Puons, general manager, Monaco Mediax/IMAGINA before the 2008 show.

IMAGINA 2008 had 1668 participants from 45 countries. Over 70 firms exhibited their technologies. The show was organized in partnership with Renault who helped host the 9th Driving Simulation Conference at IMAGINA 2008. “The goal of this international conference is to propose to a scientific and engineering audience, whether they are developers or users of driving simulators a complete state-of the-art panorama of driving simulation. These partnerships are a clear indication of the high regard in which IMAGINA is held throughout the car industry,” said Puons to AI.

The shift from 2D to 3D technology is a global phenomenon. Every industry from automotive to communications to the design and development sectors, have been affected. 3D had earlier been seen as the prerogative of specialists but today, its constant evolution has fuelled the growth of the technology.

3D visualization is one of the key services linked with every type of man-made construction, be it a building, a work of art or part of the traffic infrastructure. 3D visualization technology was for a long time mainly called upon to assist in communicating around a completed project. Whilst 3D was long perceived as the preserve of a handful of specialists, it is now adopted by everyone and in constant evolution fuelling the sector’s huge growth. For the automotive industry, 3D technology is a critical tool.

“3D enables you to create, to simulate and to visualize in real time. 3D has become an essential service in the processes of visualization and design, allowing you to model the concept of current cars and those of the future. 3D is no longer simply seen as a communication tool used at the end of a project in order to promote it. Thanks to the ongoing development of 3D technology, simulation and visualization are gradually establishing themselves at the core of the design and modeling tools used by engineers and providing them with a rapid decision-making aid,” said Puons.

Automotive Industries caught up again with Laurent Puons, general manager,

Monaco Mediax / IMAGINA.

AI: What’s new at IMAGINA for the automotive industry?

Approaching such a substantial economic sector requires that IMAGINA’s content be truly relevant, and we will continue to organise the Driving Simulation Conference, in collaboration with Renault. Thus, 2009 will be the DSC’s 10th edition, bringing together over 150 driving specialist international specialists. We will also be offering round tables and a variety of conferences, in cooperation with a number of international associations. To date, we have a good idea of themes we may be focusing on, but nothing has yet been finalised. I believe we will be looking at “Man and the virtual applied to the automotive environment”. In addition we will be implementing a marketing campaign, with the objective of attaining a total of over 50% of exhibitors from the automotive industry.

Given the great success of 2008, we feel we can certainly count on this year’s exhibitors returning in 2009; we have also already reached agreements in principle with new exhibitors such as, to name but a few, Virtuel City, Craft Animations, Forum 8, Oktal, Antycip Simulation, Bionatics, RDV Systems, Genesis….

AI: How does IMAGINA highlight CAD software expertise and innovation in design and engineering solutions – particularly for the automotive sector?

Several topics were addressed in this field, thanks to Autodesk with “Creative Bridge” for Marketing and Communication request adopted by Chrysler for example, OPTIS for drive glare simulation , light and optics CAD or Lumiscaphe with a new paradigm taking account both materials, textures, and colors in the CAD process)


AI: This year, IMAGINA had a partnership with Renault – what kind of automotive partnerships will your 2009 show have?

Whilst our partnership with Renault is ongoing, we are aware we also need to attract the other constructors to our event. With this in mind, we will be working with professional associations so as to further establish our notoriety and boost participation figures.

AI: What are the dates for IMAGINA 2009 and how is it likely to be different from earlier shows?

IMAGINA will take place from the 4th to the 6th of February 2009. The 2009 edition should, in all logic, vindicate our repositioning strategy, launched in 2006. In the wake of the 2005 edition we realised that we needed to reposition IMAGINA and reach out to other sectors who call upon 3D technology. Amongst these we identified those of Architecture, and Landscape and Urban planning. This policy proved a success, encouraging us to continue down this route for 2007, and we announced our desire to open up to industry, in particular to the automotive world.

The positive feedback from the major 3D software solution publishers, who themselves service these different sectors, fully vindicates our concept – that of offering the best venue for professional meetings in Europe for both buyers and vendors of 3D solutions in the major markets concerned.

AI: What percentage of participation in IMAGINA comes from automotive exhibitors and visitors? Is it expected to go up in 2009 and if so why?

This year, from a total of 1600 participants, approximately 30% came from industry. Over 40% of our exhibitors were involved with the automotive sector. For the 2009 edition we are going to do even more to develop this trend with the implementation of a communication plan, in partnership with the major trade associations of the automotive sector. We shall also be present on global major events such as Laval Virtual, SIGGRAPH, EuroMold, IBC…

Finally, we can also count on excellent brand visibility, not least through our partnership with you.

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