COFES: Congress On the Future of Engineering Software

Where Great Minds Come Together

COFES is the engineering software industry's only annual think tank event which brings executives from design, engineering, architectural, development and technology companies together to understand the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of your business.

COFES is:

  • a think tank where great minds come together to discuss best practices and to share ideas for managing change
  • a technology summit that promotes discussion and problem-solving among industry thought-leaders, analysts and customers
  • a business event that delivers practical strategies for achieving financial success in the engineering and design technology sector
  • an informal environment where business leaders and technology providers can meet to identify and address key industry issues and challenges

COFES is renowned for hosting leading keynote visionaries that bring a new perspective to the future of the industry. Past keynote speakers include Dr. Eric Drexler, father of nanotechnology; Alan Kay, HP Labs Senior Fellow and one of the founders of Xerox PARC; Dick Morley, creator of the floppy disk among many industry achievements, John Koza, the inventor of genetic programming, Paul Saffo, Esther Dyson, David Brin, and Bruce Sterling. Join the tech sector’s best and brightest at COFES 2017, April 6 - 9, 2017.

  • Participate in discussions with industry thought leaders and analysts
  • Get an insider’s view of the engineering and design technologies of tomorrow
  • Learn about key winning strategies for business success today

COFES is an invitation-only event. Find out more about the 18th Annual COFES and apply for an invitation.

COFES 2017: Complexity and Transformation

COFES is that place on the calendar that we set aside to lift our heads from the daily grind and consider our work in a broader context. This year at COFES 2017, we’ll take a deep dive into complexity and transformation.

The growth of complexity in everything we do is presenting us with new and difficult challenges, from our constantly changing business environment, to conflicting requirements of more simplicity (to the customer) in products that require more complexity to deliver. New phenomena result from complexity, often requiring consideration of things that were not previously an issue. The demands of IoT, the emergence of additive manufacturing. And it’s not just products:  emergent properties of complexity occur in processes, in IT, in business models, in politics, and in economies. 

Rather than focus on how to design complex systems from scratch, our attention will be on interventions that can transform existing systems to mitigate the effects of complexity.

Many firms have started transformations to address aspects of complexity in their IT systems. But few are addressing complexity in other areas.

One definition of a functional complex system is as a network adaptive agents.  Prior to IoT, our physical products didn’t have much in the way of a complete roundtrip of data, much less the ability to adapt. Now, as IoT becomes pervasive, we are adding the ability for products to be modified remotely. In other words, we are moving from a product’s value decreasing over time, to the domain of products that adapt to their environment, becoming more valuable over time. (This is particularly true with embedded AI and machine learning systems.) 

We rarely have the luxury of redesigning our software products from scratch. What is the path to transform our existing software to accommodate learning and adaptation?  

Complexity—in our products, our business systems, our customers’ needs, and more--demands our attention. It’s time to examine the tools we have to upgrade our systems in the context of growing complexity. We’ll do just that at COFES 2017. 


The domain of COFES is the realm of software for design and engineering.

Our customers are those that create the world around us. They design the roads and bridges, the buildings we live and work in, the things we use and see around us.

The place to impact all of this is at the planning, design, and engineering stage. It’s where the leverage is. Our customers have the leverage to change the world.

The COFES community provides the tools to these people who have that leverage.

We’ve been able to absorb much change in the past. But today, with increased population, increased infrastructure, and increased global interdependencies, we have lost much of our flexibility to absorb such change without hardship. The reasons for this are understandable and to be expected. With our larger population we have less room to maneuver and have significant investments in infrastructure – all a result of unconstrained growth without concern for long-term consequences.

What’s worse, we may be having an impact that is resulting in such change coming more quickly – within a lifetime rather than over generations.

Change will come. And it’s not just whether that we have to adjust to. Changes will be painful to many – deadly to some; others will reap unexpected windfalls. The balance will shift.

What can we do about it? We can choose not to ignore it. We can think about longer term implications of our decisions and have longer term horizons for our planning. 

We provide the tools to the people who have the leverage to implement change. We can help them  innovate better. 

At COFES, we ask “What can we do to make our customers more effective innovators?”

It’s not just about sharing best practices -- the bigger question is "How can we innovate in the development of better practices?”

Let's meet face-to-face and discuss these critical issues. We're all in this together.  


COFES News

Press Releases
COFES 2016 Begins -- Congress on the Future of Engineering Software
4/7/2016 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES Announces Keynote Speaker for COFES 2016
2/24/2016 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES Announces Keynote Speaker for COFES 2016
1/5/2016 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
The ASSESS Initiative Continues: First ASSESS Congress to be Held January 20-22, 2016 in Potomac, Maryland
12/22/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Cyon Research Opens 2015 Global Survey of Engineering Software Users
8/9/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES 2015 Begins
4/16/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
CAD Society Announces Its 2015 Award Winners and One Surprise Winner To Be Announced At COFES
4/6/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Findings of Once-in-a-Lifetime Simulation Summit to be Presented at COFES 2015
3/6/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
David Brin and Mark R. Anderson to Keynote COFES 2015
2/27/2015 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
NEW: Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Summit
11/7/2014 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES 2014 Begins
4/24/2014 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Cyon Research Opens 2014 Global Survey of Engineering Software Users
3/13/2014 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Paul Saffo to Keynote COFES 2014
3/13/2014 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
George Dyson to Keynote COFES 2014
12/17/2013 4:48:14 PM
Press Releases
COFES Russia 2013 Begins in Peterhof
5/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES Russia 2013 Keynote Speakers Announced
5/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
COFES 2013 Begins
4/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Cyon Research Announces COFES App for iPhone and iPad
2/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Esther Dyson to be Keynote Speaker at COFES 2013
2/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Cyon Research Announces COFES Russia 2013
12/19/2012 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Cyon Research Announces COFES Russia 2013
12/19/2012 12:00:00 AM
Press Releases
Geomagic Sponsors Keynote Address at 2013’s Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES)
11/14/2012 12:00:00 AM

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