University of Edinburgh secures UK’s first Risk and Resilience Innovation Showcase

Edinburgh University's Old College

Edinburgh University’s Old College

Edinburgh Research and Innovation, the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh, has announced a new AIMday (Academic Industry Meeting day) for companies looking to anticipate possible future risks to their operations and plan resilience strategies for today’s global marketplace.

Next January, AIMday Risk and Resilience will tackle topics such as risk and financial decision-making, the management of risk in day-to-day operations, strategic resilience, regulatory issues and climatic risk.

With a defined focus on risk and resilience – both terms that have become increasingly commonplace in Boardroom discussions of late – the event places greater emphasis on planning for dramatic economic or climatic changes and technological advances that could have repercussions for companies, their customers, employees and supply chains within the competitive market environment.

AIMday is a one-day event that allows companies to submit a question or commercial challenge around any element of risk and resilience. Academics from across the University of Edinburgh will self-select those questions where they believe their research could add the most value to the company discussion.

On the AIMday itself, the companies and academics meet face-to-face in a one-hour Workshop to discuss possible pathways towards a solution, the emphasis being on generating innovative ideas to meet today’s challenges using multi-disciplinary approach.

Identification and management of risk

Douglas Graham, commercial relations executive at the University of Edinburgh Business School, told Risk UK: “The announcement of an AIMday focused on the topic of risk and resilience coincides with increased emphasis on the identification and management of risk across the industry spectrum. With companies increasingly looking to meet global market demands, universities are a vital source of knowledge on this topic. This AIMday event will provide a source of innovative and multi-disciplinary thinking for those companies who are looking to protect their supply chains, investments and bottom line well into the future.”

Graham continued: “Today, it’s important that organisations embed risk management strategies into their day-to-day operations. Supply chains are increasingly outsourced and, on that basis, companies need to understand, anticipate and plan for strategic resilience in order to safeguard their bottom line and competitive edge.”

Douglas Graham

Douglas Graham

In conclusion, Graham stated: “I’m delighted the University of Edinburgh is hosting what will be a compelling and informative AIMday. We’re very much looking forward to a good level of engagement, particularly from the public sector, financial services and the construction industry among many others.”

The event will be held on 27 January 2016 at the University of Edinburgh Business School and will allow companies to access the interdisciplinary strength and depth of expertise across the University of Edinburgh’s three Colleges of Humanities and Social Science, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and Science and Engineering.

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 which began life at Uppsala University in Sweden. This is now the sixth AIMday to be organised by Edinburgh Research and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh. Such events are proving to be successful in establishing useful contacts and collaborations, as well as identifying possible new solutions to challenges facing the business world.

*Companies can register and submit their questions or challenges between now and Friday 30 October, at which point the academics involved will be able to select those questions with which their own research is most closely aligned

**Interested companies can find out more at

Understanding and new perspectives

AIMday represents a unique opportunity for academic scientists and companies to make contacts and exchange knowledge. By matching a company’s need for new knowledge with academic expertise, AIMday brings understanding and new perspectives to actual problems in companies and organisations.

AIMday is centred on small group discussions wherein a question raised by a company or organisation is highlighted and deliberated by scientists and experts from several different disciplines.

There are only winners among attendees on AIMday events. Surveys have demonstrated the uniqueness and effectiveness of the AIMday format, plus the fact that it leaves both company representatives and academic scientists satisfied with their participation.

Edinburgh Research and Innovation: the detail

Edinburgh Research and Innovation is a UK leader in commercialising research and entrepreneurship. As the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation (technology transfer) office, ERI seeks to promote the institution’s world class research and commercialisation expertise to potential funders, collaborators, licensees or investors.

A recent economic impact report revealed that, on an annual basis, this activity contributes over £164 million to the UK economy and supports nearly 3,000 jobs.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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