Simio Academic Program - Licensing, Software, Support

Simio Academic Licensing

Simio offers two license versions for academic use. Simio Academic is designed for university-owned and faculty-owned computers used by faculty/instructors and students – generally in computer labs and research offices. Simio Student is designed for individual use on student-owned computers. Both license types are functionally equivalent to Simio RPS and impose no limits on model size or complexity. These licenses are provided at no cost through our Academic Grant Program

Academic licenses are valid only for non-commercial work. We recognize that funded research projects and student projects are important uses of Simio in academic institutions. In cases where students/faculty work with commercial or governmental entities, the research/project work must be publishable as publicly available case studies or white papers and the company/sponsor’s name must be included. If you are interested in commercial licenses to support proprietary commercial research projects, contact us at for other licensing options.

NEW: To watch a video explaining the licensing process and the Simio Student Case Study: Click Here.

Simio Academic

To apply for an Academic Grant, complete the form here: Note that grants are only available for verified faculty members (see the section below if you are a student). You will be able to specify the types of licenses (node-locked or server-based) and the numbers of seats for each. You will also be able to specify whether to include Student licenses as part of the grant.

Once the grant is approved, you will receive an email with the Grant Identifier, license information, and installation instructions. The Grant Identifier will be used for renewals and any other correspondence. If you requested Student licenses, you will also receive a Student License Claim Code and web link to share with students so that they can individually apply using your grant. Student licenses no longer require the in-app passphrase and passcode (this was phased out as of August 2023)

Academic grant holders are eligible for limited technical support through Simio’s support group at For licensing issues, email with a detailed description of the issue. Student licenses are not eligible for technical support and instructors should work directly with their students where technical support is needed.

Simio Student

To apply for a Student license, complete the form here: To get automatic approval, you will need the Student License Claim Code provided by your instructor or advisor (that links back to their grant award), and you will need to use your university email address. If you do not have a Student License Claim Code or university email address, you will need to specify in detail your planned use for Simio and your eligibility for a Student license (i.e., your university, department/school, faculty advisor, and proposed use for Simio).

Once the Student license is approved, you will receive an email with the record identifier (ASL number), the license key, and installation instructions.

As mentioned above, Student licenses are not eligible for technical support through Simio. Students should instead work with their instructors on technical support issues. Where warranted, the instructors can request technical support from Simio on behalf of students.

Simio Versions

The current Simio Academic Version is 15.254.33325. Simio version numbers include a major version number (15), a sprint number (254), and a build number (33325). The full Simio version number is shown on the Support Ribbon in installed software. We commonly refer to Simio versions using the major version and build numbers only (e.g., 15.254) unless it is explicitly necessary to include the build number.

Our goal is to update the Simio Academic Version each July – in time to support the traditional academic calendar. Note that the Academic Version will often be behind the current public Simio Release version (currently 17.261.37759, released Apr. 9, 2024) since Simio often makes commercial/public release mid-year. If you have specific need for later versions of Simio, both academic license types work with any version of Simio after 15.254.33325 and you can download the software through Simio Insiders (see below). However, as described in the next section, make sure to maintain version compatibility between student and faculty/instructor models when model sharing is needed (e.g., for grading and model distribution).

Simio Version Compatibility

Models developed in earlier versions of Simio should work fine in any later Simio versions (backward compatibility). Simio also tries to maintain forward compatibility wherever possible so that models developed in later versions of Simio will work in early versions, but this is not always possible and depends on the specific versions being used. One note here, while models will often work in earlier versions, you should not save a model developed in a later version of Simio.

Simio changed file formats in version 15.252 so models developed in that version and subsequent versions will not open in versions prior to 15.252. This is currently important because the previous public release was 15.249 and the new Student licenses are only available for versions 15.254 and above. So, for example, if your computer labs and instructors’ computers use 15.249 and the student licenses use the current Academic Version (15.254), instructors will not be able to open models built by students using their Student licenses. Because of this file format change, we recommend that if you are running a version prior to 15.254, you upgrade to the current version as soon as possible – note that version upgrades do not require new licenses. When you upgrade over a licensed version of Simio, the new version should automatically pick up the current license.

New Academic licenses also require 15.254 or above, so if your lab or faculty/instructor computers are running an older version (like 15.249), you will need to upgrade Simio before applying for new Academic Licenses.

Synchronizing versions between faculty/instructors, computer labs, and students is the easiest way to avoid model compatibility issues.

Finally, note that models saved in Trial mode (unlicensed) will not open with Academic or Student licenses and will only open on the computer that was used to create the models. Trial mode is just for individual trials of the software and should not be used for general academic work.

If you have questions about version compatibility, please contact us at

Academic/Commercial License Incompatibility

Models created using an Academic or Student license cannot be opened in software using a Commercial license and vice versa. In some circumstances where the Academic licensing terms aren’t being violated, the Simio Academic Team ( can convert models between license types (see the description of non-commercial work in the Simio Academic Licensing section above).

Trial Edition Incompatibility

Models created using Trial Edition (unlicensed Simio), cannot be opened by computers other than the computer on which they were created. As such, if students create models in Trial Edition and submit them for homework, the models cannot be opened (except on that student’s computer). Students SHOULD NOT USE Trial Edition for class work. If you are a faculty member/instructor, please explain this to your students before they submit assignments and let them know how to get Student licenses instead.

Getting and Installing Simio Software

Downloading and Installing Simio

The link to download the Simio software is included in your Grant or Student License award email. Note that these emails also include the Grant Identifier and/or Student License Claim Code along with the License Keys for your grant award or Student license. Please retain these numbers for renewal and future correspondence

To install Simio, download the zip file from the link in the award email, extract the zip file and run the setup.exe program from the extracted files. If you already have a version of Simio installed, this process will install the new version over the previous version and the new version will assume the license from the previous version (there is no need to apply for a new license).

Installing/Applying Simio Licenses

Simio licenses are either node-locked or server-based. In the Academic Grant application, requestors can choose node-locked, server-based, or both. A common use-case is where server-based licenses are used for managed computer labs and node-locked licenses are used for faculty/instructor computers. Student licenses are node-locked only.

Node-locked Licenses

All Student licenses are node-locked and some Academic licenses are node-locked (specified in the Grant request). To install a node-locked license, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the software is installed and updated to the appropriate version for your institution. (See Version Compatibility above)
  2. Click the "Enter your license key..." link in the upper-right corner of the application (or go to File > Licensing > Classic Licensing if the link does not appear). Enter your key in the Activation Key field in the Node-Locked License section and click "Activate".
  3. Note: If you have an existing license or after navigating to File > Licensing you do not see a dialog with the Activation Key field in the Node-Locked License section (lower half of dialog), use the "Change license type" and then click "Classic Licensing".

More detailed installation and troubleshooting information can be found here:

Server-based Licenses

Instructions for applying server-based licenses are available here:

Learning Simio

There are several easily available resources for learning to use Simio. From the Simio application itself, the following are very useful:

  • Simio Help
  • SimBits
  • Example Models
  • Expression Reference Guide

Simio funds the development and maintenance of an academic textbook designed for use in an introductory undergraduate or graduate simulation course. The book, Simio and Simulation: Modeling, Analysis, Applications is freely available at: If you use the book, we welcome your feedback and suggestions at

Simio maintains a YouTube Channel: that includes over 400 videos with topics including full Simio Sync presentations, feature reviews, student projects, and tips/techniques.

The Simio User Forums ( threaded discussion forums divided by topic. Simio Insiders forums ( provides access to pre-release Simio versions and discussion forums that are accessible only to approved users.

Finally, the Learning Simio Lab Series ( is a 14-module video series designed to serve as the laboratory component to an undergraduate simulation course. The series is several years old and uses an older version of Simio (so the application will look a little different), but the concepts and techniques are still relevant.


Below are frequently seen issues and questions that we’ve seen.

Issues with License Activation

There are some common errors that can persist such as receiving an Authentication Error that reads “Error requesting activation. No error” or “Before proceeding, please make sure that this is a node-locked key…”. Both common errors are generally caused by an empty HostIds field and can be remedied by closing and reopening Simio and repeating the steps found in your award email until the HostIds field is populated by Simio. If you are still experiencing issues with activating your Simio Student License, please reply to your award email with screenshots of any error messages you see and the Licensing window.

Running on Macs/OSX

Simio is a native Windows application and does not run natively on OSX (Mac). However, Simio does run using Parallels, Fusion, or Bootcamp. More detailed information about running Simio on Macs can be found here:

Common reasons for Student license request denials

Student license requests are automatically approved if the request includes a valid Student License Claim Code (provided by your instructor) and the student email address domain matches the grant-holder’s email domain. If these conditions are not met, the request is manually reviewed and can be approved or denied. Common reasons for denial include:

  • Missing Student Claim Code
  • Non-academic email address
  • Insufficient detail in the Additional Details section. If you do not meet the automatic approval criteria, you must provide enough detail for us to verify your eligibility for a Student license. Important details include why you do not have a Student License Code and/or a non-academic email and how you plan to use the license.
  • Duplicate request – If you have already been granted a Student license, you must justify your need for an additional license (e.g., “I replaced my computer,” “I didn’t receive the license email,” “I have two computers,” etc.).