University event to join industry with academia to tackle infectious diseases

Event invites questions from companies on how science can find a way to tackle the spread of infection which impacts specific populations across the globe

Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh, is set to host an Academic Industry Meeting Day (AIMday) this November to help connect companies looking for expertise and innovative solutions to dealing with the challenges of microbial infection with academia.
With viruses such as Ebola, MERS-CoV and Zika making global headlines, and the progressive development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) worldwide, ERI says the AIMday Infection event on 30 November will tackle individual questions and challenges posed by companies looking to harness the latest research outputs and expertise in areas such as antimicrobial resistance, understanding microbial populations and drivers of resistance.
Vicky Thomas, ERI’s commercial relations marketing manager, said: “We have seen the devastation that Ebola and other viruses have created in the past year. And with many bacterial pathogens now showing resistance to antibiotics, this AIMday will shine the spotlight on a very topical and engaging issue.”
The event will bring together academics from across the University of Edinburgh in disciplines including Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Engineering to meet with industry partners to discuss and foster potential collaborations in any area of infectious diseases, such as diagnostics, the development of novel treatments strategies, and ways to enhance the effective use of current therapies.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), together with some of the world’s biggest charities and other health funding bodies, continue to explore ways of preventing infection spread.
According to ERI, this AIMday is about widening this conversation to promote innovative ideas and identify pathways to finding better ways of tackling the issues.
It says the AIMday will allow companies to submit a question or commercial challenge around any element of infection control. Academics from across the University, will select those questions they believe their research could add the most value to during the company discussion.
Each participating company will meet with the academics in a one-hour face to face, closed workshop, to discuss possible innovative ideas to meet today’s infectious disease challenges using a multi-disciplinary approach.
Ian Sharp, ERI’s head of marketing and engagement, said: “This AIMday around the area of infection provides an effective and focused way for industry to develop new collaborations with world leading experts and explore answers to global challenges.
“We have run the AIMday program for several years now and it has been very successful in delivering innovation and new approaches, such as biological organisms inspiring new methods of adaptive camouflage, robotics and AI being used to support the construction industry, and using design modelling to improve brewing.
“AIMday has proven to be an effective mechanism for developing new and productive partnerships between the University and industry.”
In 2014, The University of Edinburgh became the first higher academic institute outside Scandinavia to be approved as hosts for AIMday® – a unique collaborative knowledge exchange initiative that began life at Uppsala University in Sweden.
AIMday Infection is the 10th AIMday ERI has organised at the University of Edinburgh, and the initiative is proving successful in establishing useful contacts and collaborations, as well as identifying possible new solutions to challenges facing organisations today.
This latest AIMday will be held at the University’s King’s Buildings Campus in Edinburgh.
Companies can register and submit their questions or challenges until 30 September, at which point academics will be able to select those questions their research is most closely aligned to.
Interested companies can find out more here.
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