Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Advancing sustainability through partnership

Queen’s and Ryerson are facilitating academic-industry collaborations with AIMday event focused on the future of livable cities.

[Photo of Toronto Skyline]

As the number of people moving to city centers increases, numerous challenges surrounding city living such as pollution and climate change, infrastructure and housing, transit and transportation, and public safety and community health have emerged. These issues will be especially important to address as Canada pursues recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. With the goal of facilitating industry and research collaboration to combat sustainability challenges, on Nov. 25, Queen’s and Ryerson University are partnering to deliver AIMday: The Future of Livable Cities.

The Academic-Industry Meeting (AIMday) event is preceded by a robust six-step process where the current needs and challenges of participating organizations are matched with suitable research expertise. The process culminates in a day-long event featuring several workshops, each of which present one specific question from a participating organization and encourages dialogue with and among participating researchers. Queen’s University recently signed an agreement with Ryerson, which enables Queen’s to use the proven AIMday platform and methodology to facilitate engagement, interaction, and collaboration with external organizations.

Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal, Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation, details the origins of this collaboration.

“A benchmarking trip provided us with the opportunity to learn about AIMday from a colleague, who brought this program to a Canadian University,” says Banting, whose team is leading the planning of the event. “This colleague is now at Ryerson University and is providing leadership in making AIMday available to Canadian universities.” 

Established in 2008 at Uppsala University in Sweden, AIMday has been implemented and refined by universities from around the world, including Oxford and Cambridge, with Ryerson now acting as the lead university and hub for Canada.

On Nov. 25, the Queen’s and Ryerson AIMday: The Future of Livable Cities virtual event will engage industry, community organizations, and researchers from multi-disciplinary sectors. Participating organizations will present a challenge or question and be matched with interested researchers from Queen’s and Ryerson to explore potential strategies and solutions. The targeted one-hour conversations enable participants to discuss the challenge and how they might collaborate to find an effective solution. The AIMday team, including skilled facilitators and notetakers, will prompt engagement and input from all participants and play a leadership role in accelerating the discussions and specific collaboration opportunities immediately following the event.

For researchers, AIMday ia an excellent opportunity to learn how their projects and research can be applied to address current sustainability needs and advances the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Organizations have now submitted their research questions/challenges, and faculty researchers are invited to review the list of questions and register for the discussions that align with their research interests. Through the event they will have the opportunity to network with participating organizations and other researchers who may bring different perspectives and complementary skillsets to the challenge posed.

The Future of Livable Cities event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, through the virtual platform, Hopin. Interested researchers must apply to participate by Tuesday, Nov. 16. For more information and to register, visit the AIMday event page.