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28 January, 2019 - 12:01 By Tony Quested

NASDAQ-quoted engineering business to buy Granta Design in Cambridge

A NASDAQ-quoted innovator of engineering simulation software based in Pittsburgh is buying University of Cambridge spin-out Granta Design. No sums have been disclosed for the acquisition.

Spun out of the UK university’s Department of Engineering in 1993, Granta Design provides materials information technology. 

Its IP is based on the work of Professor Michael Ashby (now emeritus) and Professor David Cebon and it has 180 employees.

Its products include GRANTA MI, the leading system for enterprise materials information management and CES Selector, which enables users to explore the impact that different materials have on the behaviour of their products. 

Granta also develops CES EduPack, the world's leading teaching resource for materials topics in engineering, science, processing and design which is used by more than 1,000 universities worldwide. Granta's customers include Airbus, General Motors, Emerson Electric, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Saudi Aramco and Rolls-Royce.

The acquisition expands ANSYS' portfolio into a lucrative and impactful vertical market, giving customers access to material intelligence, including data that is critical to successful simulations.  The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. 

With advances in the performance of metals, plastics and other materials, including innovations in areas such as composites and additive manufacturing, manufacturers have a wealth of material choices when developing products. At the same time, they require accurate, traceable and reliable materials information to make smart materials choices and to ensure simulation accuracy. 

With this acquisition, ANSYS customers can benefit from access to the world's premier system for managing corporate material intelligence and the market-leading solution for materials sources, selection and management. 

Granta customers can expect even easier access to ANSYS' gold-standard simulation technology. Granta will continue its open ecosystem, integrating with a wide range of leading product lifecycle management, CAD and computer-aided engineering solutions.

“Granta Design has pioneered the field of materials information technology,” said Shane Emswiler, ANSYS vice-president and general manager. 

“With materials engineering becoming an increasingly important aspect of product development, our customers require high-quality and comprehensive materials information for accurate simulation results. 

“Integrating Granta's solutions into the ANSYS portfolio will provide a seamless user experience – and enable our customers to innovate like never before.”

David Cebon (pictured), co-founder and managing director of Granta Design, added: “For nearly 50 years, ANSYS has been the leader in engineering simulation. Combining that expertise with Granta's decades of experience in material intelligence will help our customers make smarter decisions when developing their next-generation products.”

If you’ve ever seen a rocket launch, flown on an airplane, driven a car, used a computer, touched a mobile device, crossed a bridge or put on wearable technology, chances are you’ve used a product where ANSYS software played a critical role in its creation.

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