Free Autodesk Software for Israeli Cleantech Startups


Autodesk, the leader in design, visualization and simulation software, created a special offer for the most promising Clean Tech startups in Israel and providing them access to the Autodesk Digital Prototyping software to support their product development and marketing goals.

We are working with Autodesk to offer selected Cleantech startups an outstanding opportunity, through the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, to receive full commercial Autodesk software licenses, valued at up to $150,000. With these powerful tools you can more thoroughly explore and test your ideas, substantially reduce potentially costly design errors, and more clearly communicate your concepts prior to physical creation. With Autodesk 3D design software for Digital Prototyping, you can get your ideas to the world, and to market, faster.

For futher information, please read the following file: Clean Tech Software

For further information, please, contact me at


Skipso Partners with Autodesk to offer free software to selected Cleantech startups

We are really excited to announce that we have recently partnered with Autodesk, the leader in design, visualization and simulation software to create a special offer for the most promising Cleantech startups in our Skipso network.


Skipso and Autodesk have agreed to Quantity 2 of Autodesk’s Product Design Suite Ultimate 2013 to selected Cleantech startups from our network. Each commercial licence is valued at £10,000 and there is a £42 transaction fee to complete the process.

Here is a link to a brief 3 minute video that explains the program:

If interested please contact me at for more information.

Carlo Soresina

Co-Founder – Skipso

A Model for Sustainable Design?

Erwin Burth, Autodesk business development manager for clean technology, discusses the advantages of digital prototyping for realising advancements in the clean tech sector – and helping businesses bring creative visions to life in order to secure vital investment

Clean tech is a bold and burgeoning field. From alternative fuels, to energy efficiency, water treatment, transportation, innovators in the sector are seeking to transform our current infrastructure into one that addresses basic human needs – our need for light and heat, our need for water, our need for shelter, and so on – more intelligently, in a manner that conserves resources, reduces pollution and respects resource limits.

Technology has an important role to play in realising the radical new design needed to achieve these testing ambitions. For this reason, many clean tech companies are not just taking an existing technology and improving on it, but rather developing an entirely new type of technology altogether – a process which, by necessity, requires extensive trial and error.

Here digital prototyping can confer vital advantage – both in achieving faster iterations and achieving crucial cost savings. Using conceptual design, engineering, and manufacturing teams now have the ability to virtually explore a complete product before it is manufactured. In facilitating this, digital prototyping makes the whole product design and development process both streamlined and efficient.

Digital prototyping also reduces the inherent risk in the design process, helping to ensure that clean tech companies make their mistakes on the computer desktop – where the cost is low – and not in the factory or the marketplace. An engineer can try out many design iterations to test if a digital prototype works – at a much lower cost with fewer materials – and have confidence that the physical prototype will perform properly.

To date, digital prototyping has been used across a range of clean tech industries and for a vast spectrum of purposes. In the tidal sector, for example, one firm employed 3D mechanical design software to test the energy transmission mechanism in a device that utilised using oscillating horizontal hydrofoils in place of more traditional rotating blades. In this instance, placing the hydrofoils into a 3D model and running a simulation enabled the engineers to rapidly optimise the design.

Another company seeking to increase production and improve efficiency in its pilot ‘carbon negative’ cement plant used 3D software to digitally design and visualise the performance of the plant’s planned automated control systems under simulated real-world conditions – all before the systems were physically built and installed.

In the automotive sector, a firm developing a fuel-efficient, two-passenger hybrid vehicle built from widely available materials used digital prototyping to create realistic 3D renderings of the car, making them better able to pitch its idea to investors and show them a photorealistic depiction of what the car will look like – without the need to build a prototype.

In this way, as well as accelerating innovation and reducing costs, digital prototyping can, crucially, help clean tech companies to communicate their vision to potential prospects, strategic partners and investors – something which is critical to the success of most clean tech companies.

As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words – particularly when building and communicating something that has never been built before. While the concept of a ‘mobile biodiesel refinery’ would understandably be tough for any potential investor to comprehend – the idea becomes infinitely more digestible when brought to life with an animated 3D rendering of the refinery generated from a digital model.


Rapid Re-Invention

Cleantech specialist Green Structures has used 3D modeling combined with conceptual building performance analysis and digital prototyping techniques to support the development of new carbon and energy-saving innovations

With over 40 percent of the UK’s green house gas emissions attributed to the built environment, in recent years, far greater emphasis has been put on retrofitting building stock through government-backed schemes such as The Green Deal, which aims to allow households and businesses across the UK to improve the energy efficiencies of their properties by taking out loans to have them made more energy efficient. Similarly, with the cost and availability of energy supplies never far from national and international headlines, the need for technologies and business models that drive energy efficiencies is becoming ever more urgent.

Green Structures, a London-based Autodesk Clean Tech Partner operating in the built environment sector, adopts a sustainable design approach to tackling these challenges.

Its overall aim to “dramatically improve the sustainability of the built environment, and associated energy consumption, by radically transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated” has resulted in the creation of award-winning energy-efficient and energy saving products and systems, including Passive Heat Recovery Ventilation and Thermal Energy Storage (TES).

Having been introduced to the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program in 2009, Green Structures decision to enrol was primarily motivated by the chance to gain access to high-quality software for a nominal fee. Since joining the scheme, it has utilised a range of Autodesk software in its work including Inventor, Ecotect, Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics and Revit.

“The greatest advantage of the Clean Tech Partner Program has been putting us in reach of software that a company of our size and age may not otherwise be able to access,” says Tom Lipinski, Green Structures’ founder, MD and CTO. “Using the same professional tools as some of the UK’s largest manufacturers has enabled us to further strengthen the professionalism of our design process.”

Primarily, Lipinski says, Revit and Ecotect are deployed in architectural projects, including the recent development of its ‘Thermal Memory House.’ “The aim of the Thermal Memory House project is to build a prototype for a structure which will be able to achieve complete thermal inertia internally without the system, control or device that would normally be required,” he says.

The house is built in a large proportion from phase-change materials, substances with a high heat of fusion which, melting and solidifying at a certain temperature (in this case 21 degrees centigrade), is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy.

“Essentially, we have taken a fresh look at zero carbon homes and are trying to redesign them to make them much simpler and self-sustaining. The approach is based on a combination of hot ice , building fabric and physics – and could remove the requirement for up to £30,000 worth of complex equipment, potentially including biomass boilers, complex mechanical heat recovery ventilation systems, energy monitoring devices and commercial style building management systems.”

Green Structures’ creative team has also deployed the Autodesk Inventor solution for its digital prototyping work, in particular the firm’s passive heat recovery installation, Ventive, – a retrofit-specific means of extracting stale air from the air in a house and supplying fresh air to it at room temperature without using any energy in the process. Lipinski believes this kind of approach will become increasingly critical as local authorities put greater emphasis on upgrading existing housing stock.

“Recently, we have been developing our rapid simulation approach which involves running multiple simulations, making small tweaks and then choosing the winners as the process evolves,” he says. “In the development of the Ventive passive heat recovery product, we used the simulation capabilities of the Autodesk software to shorten the process of running wind tunnel tests and heat transfer modeling and conducting the subsequent re-designs completed in Inventor.

“Before we had access to Inventor and the simulation capabilities of the Autodesk software, the design and prototyping process was messy, costly, time consuming and very ‘hit and miss’. We could not afford wind tunnel simulations or £1,000 per day fees so we were creating mouldings out of MDF, using resins and glass fibre mesh to develop model designs and testing everything ourselves.

“Typically, after a month’s worth of work on different models we would ‘smoke test’ them = using lighted smoke pellets to test suction levels – and get conflicting results,” he adds.

Instead, Green Structures can now test its  new roof-mounted device, capable of exhausting and supplying air concurrently,  on its own, in a linear wind flow, or put it on the chimney and see what is happening. The company is not just working on the product, it is learning a great deal about the environment in which it will operate.  Again, this would not have been possible without the product and the support received from Autodesk.

Tom Lipinski adds, “without Autodesk, it would typically be a case of two days of casting to do the prototype work plus jig and materials and then either some inconclusive gas tracer tests or a large fee to an academic institute for wind tunnel tests. If you miss one thing, you have to do it again.  On top of that, you don’t know what you’ve missed, where and why. The process usually takes three days plus materials plus a fee – £2,000 to £3,000 for each cowl iteration. In contrast, it would cost £200/£300 per iteration if you used Autodesk – and you could run two or three iterations concurrently until you run out of ideas (we’ve done about 30 so far). It is a no brainer.”

Scoping the Benefits

For Green Structures, one of the most important benefits of being part of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program is the networking opportunities it provides. “In opening doors to a wider community through networking events, it has provided valuable exposure for our work, got us in front of investors and enabled us to network with people we may not otherwise have reached,” says Lipinski.

Yet, even more important has been the role the program has played in securing investment for Green Structures and then enabling the company to get a return on that investment.

As well as the complex challenges involved in the conceptualisation, design, prototyping, simulation and testing of the end product, creating a new clean tech innovation and taking it to market requires financial backing, not to mention other logistical considerations such as collaborating with partners to develop and commercialise the offering.

In this respect, being an Autodesk Clean Tech Partner has proved advantageous for Green Structures, because it has helped the sustainable design specialist to take its innovations to a wider audience. “The Clean Tech Partner Program has given the firm real presence,” says Lipinski.


Tomorrow’s World: Evolving Clean Tech Innovation with Digital Prototyping

Erwin Burth, Autodesk business development manager for clean technology, discusses the advantages of digital prototyping in realising clean tech advancements.

Thanks to the significant investment that clean energy attracts, the global clean technology race has, in the last few years, continued to gain momentum. Even the unfolding European financial crisis and a slump in clean energy share prices on the world’s stock markets has not held back the continuing surge of finance for clean energy from venture capitalists.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind and solar projects drove financial investment in clean energy to $45.4bn in the third quarter of 2011, a nine per cent rise on the previous quarter and a 16 per cent increase year-on-year. And in the UK too, the results of Ernst & Young’s most recent quarterly clean tech business confidence survey suggest that, despite some recent setbacks, the clean tech sector is also still gaining ground with optimism seeing a significant increase in recent months, thanks, in part, to gathering momentum around the Government’s Green Deal.

Aside from securing vital investment, the clean tech sector also faces a range of other complex challenges – not least the need to achieve sustained innovation. While significant advancements in clean technology are continuing to take place, the urgent major environmental challenges they seek to address such as climate change, landfill shortages, dwindling fossil fuels and water scarcity are steadily continuing to worsen, and subsequently require new alternatives in the battle to conserve finite resources.

Addressing these complex challenges is not easy and requires ground-breaking technologies and new business models. For this reason, many Fortune 1,000 companies put strong emphasis on collaborating with or acquiring smaller firms to tap into new ideas and new markets, as well as to support their own future business viability.

Strong innovation can play a major role in tackling the critical environmental issues that clean tech companies are concerned with, which are typically discovered thanks to new methodologies and completely new ways of thinking. In many cases, this can only be achieved through redesigning existing approaches and using holistic design techniques to create new ones, ultimately contributing to optimised performance and reduced costs.

Digital prototyping can, for today’s design engineers, play a crucial role in enabling the innovation process. The technique helps to make clean tech product development far more efficient, by allowing manufacturers to digitally design, visualise and simulate how the solutions will work under real-world conditions before they are built. In addition, this capability also supports several different types of innovation, which are particularly applicable to the clean tech sector.

One of the major enablers of innovative design is the rapid capture of creative concepts; the sooner and more easily ideas can be captured on screen, the better – even if dozens of iterations are needed after that. The fact that the digital approach allows for the exploration of a range of different concepts gives designers greater freedom to be creative in the knowledge that mistakes made with pixels and bits are much easier to rectify than mistakes made in the creation of physical prototypes, a feature which is particularly important in the clean tech arena.

Meanwhile, in the research and development process, the ability to pass designs to manufacturing in digital form means that they are also more likely to keep their original integrity resulting in better quality, reliable products.

Digital prototyping also enables early but well-informed decisions about appearance and form to be made at the concept stage, with the ability for the design team, colleagues and clients to weigh multiple alternatives. The right design is more likely to please end consumers, and therefore makes widespread adoption more likely.

In the domestic clean tech arena, for example, energy monitoring devices must be pleasing to consumers to be successful in the marketplace. Equally, the right design can make a product more easily understandable to an operator, with renewable power equipment that is simple and easy to operate helping to enhance safety and efficiency.

Proving that an idea will work and prove reliable well before the physical prototype stage is also a key advantage of digital prototyping technology. During the engineering stage, clean tech firms must test product stress and strengths, simulate mechanical movement and analyse the performance of multiple materials to make aesthetic ideas practical. Here, the latest technology enables engineers to perform these tests in hours or days rather than weeks.

Yet innovation is, of course, only of value if the end result is commercially viable. For this reason too, digital prototypes can prove extremely valuable in helping to market a product before it is actually made, with 3D images bringing ideas to life in brochures, websites and other marketing collateral, as well as to illustrate the concept at focus groups, one-to-one customer meetings and to potential future investors.

A further key benefit of digital prototyping is in helping companies to scale solutions and evaluate their impact as they are adapted, while a more practical aspect of innovation can be found in helping to protect intellectual property, as by using a ‘shrink-wrapped’ version in the design review process, data and other commercial information can be protected from third parties.

As the clean tech sector increasingly evolves to serves mainstream consumers, for those creating the new technologies, the focus should undoubtedly continue to be on achieving sustained innovation. In realising this objective, clean tech designers and engineers can benefit significantly from implementing cutting-edge design methodologies such as digital prototyping to capture ideas quickly as well as support fast and informed design decisions.

Getting Started With Digital Prototyping

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program provides significant support for early-stage clean technology companies who are working to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges by providing them with design and engineering software worth up to 120,000 euros – and/or £100,000, for a nominal fee. Many are now using Autodesk software and digital prototyping functionality to achieve pioneering innovation.

The wide range of partners already signed up to the programme includes Pyrum Innovations, a start-up company based in France, which is working on a newly invented recycling process for used rubber from tyres, which would otherwise be burned, and UK-based Cleaner Air Solutions, a specialist in solar power that has been providing renewable energy systems to the domestic and commercial market since 2004.


“A Place in the Sun” – How Clean Tech Partner Program Helped Cleaner Air Solutions Edge out the Competition

Founded in 2004 and based in the UK, Cleaner Air Solutions is a leader in the specification, design, supply and installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems. These are systems which use one or more solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.

Faced with growing competition and the need to develop custom made installations to meet rising demand, the company recently joined the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program.

The programme supports early-stage clean technology companies by providing design and engineering software that accelerates their development of solutions to the world’s most urgent environmental challenges.  Joining the programme allowed Cleaner Air Solutions to access leading-edge digital prototyping design solutions for a nominal fee.

Digital prototyping solutions enable users to design, visualise and simulate products rapidly and cost-effectively through digital models and prototypes. Autodesk software enables them to streamline documentation, data management and collaboration while developing compelling, realistic visualisations to provide their customers or investors with near photo-realistic images/renderings or a digital model of their product.

Crowded Marketplace

Cleaner Air Solutions’ decision to sign up for the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program was driven by the recent rapid increase, both in the number of solar PV systems installed in the UK and in new market entrants, hungry to compete with the established players.  This growth is accelerating thanks to the Government’s Feed–in Tariff (FIT) programme, introduced in April 2010.  Under the scheme, energy suppliers have to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricity panels or wind turbines.  As a result, demand is growing rapidly within these groups.

In light of this growth in demand, it is perhaps unsurprising that Government forecasts predict the UK annual photovoltaic (PV) market will grow from 5 photovoltaic peak power capacity (MWp) installed capacity in 2009 to 140 MWp installed capacity in 2012. This dramatic growth, making the UK one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world, demonstrates that the country is an increasingly important market for solar technology.

One key factor behind this is the high degree of home ownership. The other main growth driver is the introduction of FIT, which has resulted in a huge increase in the number of UK companies offering solar PV installations, with estimates suggesting that around 60 new businesses enter the market every week.

The programme has driven a parallel rise in bespoke customised installations. Customers are increasingly trying to ‘shoe-horn’ PV installations in places that they would previously have discounted due to high inception costs – unusual roof types and back garden sites, for example.

Quality is Key

Escalating competition levels, coupled with the growing need to design and develop customised solutions tailored to the precise needs of customers, makes it critical for organisations across the sector to use high-quality 3D design and engineering software to carry out their work efficiently and cost-effectively and to deliver competitive edge.

It was therefore a straightforward decision for Cleaner Air Solutions to join the Clean Tech Partner Program.

According to Andy Craddock, Technical Executive at Cleaner Air Solutions, “Having access to 3D software like Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Showcase, through the Clean Tech Partner Program allows us to develop innovative products, dramatically reduce project risk and overall project lifecycles, and drive rapid but well-informed decisions on design projects by developing high-quality visualisations.

“In short, being part of the programme has given us access to high-quality 3D design tools, in turn enabling us to achieve efficiencies and drive business growth,” he adds.

The use of Autodesk Inventor, a 3D mechanical design software solution, has been of particular benefit to Cleaner Air Solutions in digitally modelling and rolling out larger solar PV installations. The company’s previous CAD system proved adequate in managing smaller installations but struggled to deal with larger implementations. As Mr Craddock explains, “once the installation in question grew above a certain level, it became difficult to count modules, clamps and mounting systems and any changes made to a design could take a considerable time to re-quote.

Using the Autodesk digital prototyping solutions has also helped to shorten the project lifecycle for Cleaner Air Solutions by improving the planning process for new designs.

As Mr Craddock commented, “on some of the larger installations, planning is key to the project’s critical path.  Given this, a 3D representation of an installation on a building can help get systems passed through planning a lot quicker than without.”

Another great benefit of the solutions is that they provide a migration path to 3D technology. “Over time, the need to work in 3D has become increasingly important,” said Mr Craddock.

Scoping out the Work

Cleaner Air Solutions is currently using Autodesk software solutions including  Autodesk Inventor, to produce customised designs of its own mounting systems: to layout  installations and to create bills of materials.

It carries out 3D renderings of the designs using Inventor alone.  “By enabling us to quickly visualise what the final design will look like, we can save huge amounts of time across the design process,” says Mr Craddock.

Cleaner Air Solutions has not yet implemented Autodesk Vault data management software but is planning to do so and to use it for full document control. Once implemented, the Autodesk Vault software should help Cleaner Air Solutions to manage design, simulation and documentation data and achieve full document control.

The company now has all five software licenses issued as part of the Clean Tech Partner Program up and running. With plans in place to recruit up to 50 new staff before the end of 2011, it anticipates the need to take out further Autodesk software licences soon.

A Raft of Benefits

Summarising the benefits of joining the programme, Mr Craddock commented, “being part of the Clean Tech Program  and having access to the Autodesk solutions allows us to develop innovative products, dramatically reduce project risk and overall lifecycles, and drive rapid but well-informed decisions on design projects by developing high-quality visualisations.

“Over time, the need to work in 3D has become increasingly important to us,” he adds. “Joining the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program has given us access to high-quality 3D design tools, in turn enabling us to achieve efficiencies; drive business growth and build competitive edge in an ever more crowded marketplace.”


10 Finalists of the Intesa Sanpoalo European Cleantech Challenge

The European Cleantech Challenge is part of Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative a comprehensive program aimed at start-ups looking for concrete business opportunities. Every few months, a rigorous selection and training process leads the best start-ups to high-profile, technology-specific events called Arena Meetings, where they can pitch to international investors and corporations.

Skipso has partnered with Intesa providing the platform and support to manage this year’s European Cleantech Challenge. We would like to report here the profiles of the 10 startups that have been selected by Intesa’s expert judging panel to take part in this year’s International investor Arena that will see these companies pitch to top investors in Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Boston and San Francisco.

For more information about any of these startups please contact Intesa Sanpaolo or send us an email at

A+ Sun Systems

A+ Sun Systems is focused on design, production and commercialization of innovative high quality mounting systems for photovoltaic plants. Its mission is to create and apply effective and innovative technical solutions to photovoltaic systems to reach “grid parity”. A+ Sun Systems pillars are innovation and quality. Whether in the office, factory or at the installation site, our team enthusiastically creates and applies innovative technical solutions to better serve you and make your photovoltaic installations more competitive.


GENPORT is the Italian progressive spin-off of Politecnico di Milano, developer and manufacturer of an advanced, lightweight technology for portable power generation and storage in medical, defense, emergency, telecommunication and industrial applications.

GENPORT combines Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) and Ion Lithium technologies, in order to provide advance power solution to any off-grid external equipment up to 1000 Watt, with superior performance, reliability and satisfy such requirements as long life, design flexibility, high energy density, compact configuration, high cycling, high rate discharge, reducing to zero both noise and emissions and operating in extreme environmental conditions.

GENPORT brings the strong expertise and mutual beneficial partnerships of a value chain which includes companies and academic institutions. Our corporate partners are: Politecnico di Milano, Elemaster Group, Genbee, Petrone Group, SAATI Group.

Pontoon Power

Pontoon Power AS is a Norwegian company, established in 2010. The company’s primary purpose is to develop electric power production based on offshore wave power by means of our patent pending wave power converter, the Pontoon Power Converter (PPC).


Qualisteo is an eco-innovative start-up company taking an active role in the electricity «smart grid» endeavour.

Its mission is to help electricity consumers take ownership and control of their consumption patterns, thereby managing and reducing their ecological footprint.

Qualisteo has engineered an innovative and patented solution, which makes it possible to measure and tell apart power consumption of multiple devices from a single measurement point. Qualisteo products and services enable cost efficient, non-intrusive and meaningful measurement of electricity flows by usage and efficiency, in any building.

Underground Power

UP’s mission is to become the leader in production of energy harvesting devices based on linear motion. UP aims to develop and market its patented, innovative LYBRA. LYBRA is an energy harvesting device similar to a flat speed bump that recovers energy wasted by vehicle brakes in decelerating lanes, reduces the speed and produces electric energy.


Voltalink develops and commercializes innovative telecontrol solutions for photovoltaic systems

Our solutions have been designed to achieve the highest communication reliability while keeping high system scalability to address either small photovoltaic installations or big photovoltaic farms.

Voltalink products are “plug & play” to assure easy installation procedures and allow our customers  to remotely monitor their photovoltaic systems through easy and secure web access.


Windesign is an innovative micro wind generator system.

Black Silicon Solar

Black Silicon Solar has developed a technology for improving the absorption of light in silicon solar cells. Its unique technology increases the efficiency of solar cells in a cost-efficient way, making solar cells significantly cheaper.

Clean Power Tech

Clean Power Tech has developed a patented low-emission diesel engine that allows substantial reduction in production, maintaining high-engine efficiency.


EnerCloud is a cloud-based decision support system for energy efficiency: data collection from the field, sophisticated analysis and simple presentation.



The 10 startups were also awarded €100,000 worth of Autodesk Digital Prototyping software. Autodesk was in fact a sponsor of this year’s European Cleantech Challenge.

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program supports early-stage clean technology companies by providing design and engineering software that accelerates their development of solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.