An Academic Industry Meeting Day (AIMday) is an innovative networking event that allows external organisations to set the agenda and gain academic perspective into industry challenges. The idea is simple: each AIMday has a specific theme and is centred around small group discussions based on a question posed by the external participant. This gives industry partners and researchers the assurance that the topics addressed will be of genuine interest, while also providing the opportunity to gain fresh insights, meet potential collaborators, and grow a network.
AIMdays were born at the University of Uppsala in 2008, and are a format used by universities worldwide to match researchers with industrial partners.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.
Are you participating in an upcoming AIMday? Explore our guidance for participants.
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 Betina Nair at firstname.lastname@example.org.