How AIMdays work
Below is some more detailed information about how the AIMdays work, some advice on preparation and what to expect on the day. Additionally, we created a video from one of our previous AIMdays, which can be found here.
How they work
Step 1: University of Oxford selects a theme (in this case, Microbiome)
Step 2: Companies submit a question/s around a particular challenge related to the theme of the day
- These questions can be as specific or as general as you like and can relate to your technology challenges or more general challenges in this field. There is no set list of topics. The aim is for industry to inspire the agenda.
- The questions will be made publicly available online, so should be non-confidential.
- Companies will chair an hour-long round-table discussion of each question, so companies should be prepared to discuss it in detail and prepare a 10-15 minute presentation to introduce the challenge during your one-hour workshop.
Step 3: Oxford’s researchers sign up to discuss one or more questions submitted by industry
- The questions will be visible to the full breadth of Oxford’s academic and clinical research community, so each question should end up with a self-selected panel of experts.
- Academics should sign up to questions they feel they can contribute to in discussion.
- The workshop groups are designed to be small and focused and will consist of around 4 – 10 academics.
Step 4: Each question will form the basis for face-to-face, 1-hour meetings.
- These meetings will be small, focused and non-confidential discussions around the chosen topic, chaired and led by the company present. They will be supported by a facilitator.
The day is interspersed with opportunities for networking and informal discussion.
Who should attend
- Any companies working in the microbiome field are welcome.
- The AIMdays are a particularly good way for SMEs to engage with the a wide range of academics and clinicians at the University.
- For larger companies, it’s a good opportunity to get some fresh insight into challenges you are experiencing.
- The event is open only to academics and clinicians from the University of Oxford or from Oxford University Hospitals.
- Any academics that can contribute to the discussions raised by industry are welcome.
- Previous AIMdays have included all levels of seniority from DPhil students to Professors. The largest proportion of academics attending previous AIMdays has been postdoctoral researchers.
How to prepare
- Think carefully of a question. Remember that you will be leading the discussion, so you should have some existing knowledge in this area. The question should simply act as a starting point for discussion and a good way of connecting people – we don’t expect the questions to be answered in one hour! For help in formulating a question, please contact email@example.com. Examples of questions for previous AIMdays include:
- What data set and expertise is necessary to implement a deep learning model on 3D medical images that can better perform than non-deep image processing and classifier methods? (AIMday Biomedical Imaging)
- Is there an epigenetic basis for immune response differences that can explain discrepancies between biological and chronological age? (AIMday Healthy Ageing)
- Should novel antibacterial drugs with low propensity for engendering bacterial resistance be used in place of traditional antibiotics or be reserved for use of last resort? (AIMday Antimicrobial Resistance)
- Prepare a presentation – this should be 10-15 minutes to introduce your challenge at the start of your workshop. You may want to include some information on your company and give some background information on the challenge. Remember that there will be different levels of expertise in the room.
- You will be leading the session, so please be prepared to discuss the question in some depth. You may even want to include some follow-up questions and topics for discussion.
- While there is no formal preparation required for the workshops, please do come prepared to discuss and debate the challenges raised by industry.
- At the beginning of each meeting, you will get the chance to introduce yourself and explain how your research is relevant to the discussion.
- Please also remember that the discussions are non-confidential.
What to expect
Each AIMday is kicked off with a series of short and provocative talks.
The rest of the day is made up parallel workshop sessions, interspersed with networking opportunities. Each question submitted by industry forms the basis for a 1-hour roundtable discussion with a group of academics. The session will start with some introductions that are facilitated by a member of our business development & industry partnering team. The company will then lead the rest of the workshop, starting with a short presentation (around 10-15 minutes) with background on the question. The remaining time in the workshop will be used for exploratory, informal and two-way discussions in your groups. If you find that you would like to organise further closed meetings as a result of interactions from the AIMday, our business development team will be happy to organise this for you and provide ongoing support for promising opportunities for collaboration.