Uppsala University’s AIMday program launched Canada-wide
1 June 2018
Building upon the success of AIMday academic–industry matchmaking events and demand from other Canadian institutions for expansion of the approach, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and Uppsala University have completed an agreement naming the USask commercialisation unit Innovation Enterprise as the Canadian AIMday hub.
“This agreement enables Innovation Enterprise to share with universities and research institutes across Canada our experience gained in formulating successful AIMday events to help drive innovation and collaboration in Canada,” said Johannes Dyring, Managing Director of USask Innovation Enterprise.
He noted that a challenge with technology transfer is the gap between industry and academics.
“For research to have real societal and economic impact, one approach needed is focussed interaction between academic researchers and industry on an agenda defined by industry,” he said.
The unique AIMday (Academic-Industry Meeting Day) format involves addressing research problems submitted by industry through a series of one-hour meetings over one day that pair industry representatives with academic experts. The format has proven successful in creating networks, contacts, collaborations and new paths to solutions.
Initiated and successfully developed by Uppsala University in 2008, the AIMday concept has been applied in five countries and in areas such as cancer research, diagnostics, materials science, aging and imaging. USask is the second university that has been assigned the role as an AIMday hub in a country outside of Sweden. The first hub was established in the United Kingdom at the University of Edinburgh in 2014.
“We are truly happy to have this collaboration in place with USask Innovation Enterprise,” said Jonas Åström, head of Uppsala University Innovation. “We are convinced that the agreement will be a launchpad for further collaborations between our universities, and we are proud that USask in AIMday has found a tool that will continue to strengthen their efforts in building bridges between academia and industry.”
In 2017, Innovation Enterprise obtained from Uppsala University the AIMday licence to hold these events and hosted the first North American AIMday with a focus on the minerals sector, followed by events focused on the imaging and “big data” sectors.
These three USask events, which have involved a total of 69 company representatives and 142 researchers, have resulted in 179 proposals, of which 57 key project collaborations have been identified by industry for funding. To date, a total of $375,000 in follow-on research funding has been committed by partners and the Saskatchewan government.
Innovation Enterprise is already in discussions with six other Canadian institutions that are eager to host their own AIMday events.
About Innovation Enterprise:
The Usask Innovation Enterprise manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from the university’s comprehensive research enterprise. In striving for excellence and engaging in growing the local and global entrepreneurial ecosystem, IE maximizes the impact of knowledge-intensive innovations. For more information, visit our website: research.usask.ca/ie
About Uppsala University Innovation:
As Uppsala University’s designated body for accelerating the impact of its world-leading research, Uppsala University Innovation pave the way for business and industry collaboration and research-based innovations. Regardless of where the ideas originate, Uppsala University Innovation provides the expertise, resources and networks essential for transforming them into exciting commercial ventures or fruitful partnerships. For more information, visit our website: uuinnovation.uu.se
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