An Academic Industry Meeting Day (AIMday) is an innovative networking event that allows companies to get an academic perspective on challenges they are facing and academics to learn about pertinent topics industry is working on. Each AIMday is built around a specific research theme and relevant companies are invited to submit questions on that topic. The event is runs in the format of parallel workshops where each workshop is centred around one question and academics join the ones they are interested in.
AIMdays bring scientists from industry and academia together, spark conversations and collaborations, and encourage innovative communities across sectors.
The Business Partnerships Office organises (with the support of academic leads from the host department/centre) and runs the event on the day, and is also available to follow up and support any productive discussions with academic researchers and companies.
The video below, filmed in collaboration with Voices from Oxford at the 2018 Biomedical Imaging AIMday, gives a sense of what the day offers.
How they work
Step 1: University of Oxford selects a theme of interest to industry partners and researchers
Step 2: Organisations submit a question (or questions) in this area that they would like academics to answer
Step 3: Oxford’s researchers sign up to discuss one or more or the questions.
Step 4: On the day, each question forms the basis for face to face, 60 minute meetings
Step 5: The Business Partnerships Office will be available to follow up any productive discussions with researchers and external partners
The day is interspersed with opportunities for networking and informal discussion.
Who are they for?
For academics, AIMdays provide you with the chance to find out how your knowledge could be used to solve industry challenges. It is also a great way to widen your network and to meet potential industrial collaborators and employers. The majority of academics attending the AIMdays are at postdoc level (59%), followed by professors or principal investigators (22%) and finally DPhil students (15%), making it a great opportunity for early-career researchers to get exposure to industry in an informal setting.
Participating companies also benefit by accessing a group of self-selecting researchers with whom there may be potential collaborative opportunities. In particular, the AIMday format provides a low barrier route for SMEs to engage with a wide range of academics and clinicians at the University. There is no cost to participants, apart from their time. This, together with the assurance that companies will be meeting academics with common interests, is a great incentive for SMEs, who often have limited time and flexibility.
For larger companies it allows them to expand their existing networks and meet academics in disciplines that they may not usually interact with.
If you are interested in learning more about AIMdays at Oxford, please contact Meghna Mathur at email@example.com