AIMday – meeting concept attracts universities worldwide
Uppsala University’s AIMday meeting concept aims to strengthen the interaction between academia and the wider community. The concept, with its unique meeting format, has spread around the world. Monash University in Australia is the latest institution to join.
AIMday stands for Academic Industry Meeting day. Ångström Material Academy, Uppsala University’s strategic collaboration platform in materials science, kicked off the very first AIMday back in 2008. The aim was to address issues and challenges in industry with current research. Something that is still true today.
“The overall goal of AIMday is to match actual challenges faced by organisations with research-based knowledge. It is in Uppsala University’s best interest to make practical use of the research conducted here,” says Anders Hagfeldt, Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University.
Since then, the concept and method have evolved, and AIMday is now a registered trademark owned by Uppsala University.
How AIMday works
Each AIMday is centred around an overall main theme. The agenda is based on questions that external organisations and companies are given the opportunity to submit in advance. The questions can be about anything from strategic to operational challenges.
Once the questions have been received, it is time for the researchers to review them and register their interest in the specific questions they wish to discuss. The researchers’ choice of questions lays the foundation for the matching process. The meeting agenda is then set, which includes several parallel workshops over the course of a day. The workshop format is always the same: one question is discussed for one hour.
“One hour may not sound like much, but the workshop is about discussing possibilities for further collaboration on a specific issue. AIMday helps to initiate further collaboration,” says Anette Persson Stache, Uppsala University’s AIMday manager.
This is also the very purpose of the collaboration method, that it should lead to expanded networks and further collaboration between academia and the rest of society.
International interest in the concept
Uppsala University owns the rights to the concept, and develops and manages the website www.aimday.se. In recent years, several national and international higher education institutions have joined AIMday. Each university signs a two-year agreement and pays a fee for access to the full concept, There are currently 17 universities that are part of AIMday, and more are in the pipeline.
“We have affiliated universities from both Europe and the rest of the world, from Edinburgh University in the UK to Toronto Metropolitan University in Canada. The latest addition is Monash University in Australia,” says Anette Persson Stache.
Vice-Chancellor Anders Hagfeldt is proud of Uppsala University’s meeting concept and the continued collaborations it will lead to.
“It is great that so many international higher education institutions have joined. This means that the AIMday concept is also relevant internationally. We in academia need to collaborate more with companies and organisations in the wider community,” he says.
- AIMday (Academic Industry Meeting day) is a meeting point between academia and the wider community. Uppsala University owns all rights to the AIMday trademark.
- Defined challenges, strategic or operational, from external organisations form the basis of the meeting agenda, which is formulated as questions and submitted in advance. Researchers then sign up and select and prioritise based on interest and knowledge, which lays the foundation for the matching process. The result is a day filled with workshops at which each question is discussed for one hour in small groups made up of organisational representatives and researchers.
- There are a total of 17 higher education institutions affiliated with AIMday (four of which are Swedish universities).
- Over 140 AIMday events have been organised to date.