My name is Maria Koura and I am really glad to be one of the members of the MI-NET action. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate student of the Business Administration Department in the University of Macedonia (Greece) and my research focuses on the field of Operational Research; in particular it concentrates on the facilitation of strategic planning and finance decision making in a business environment. At the same time, I am working also as a Business and Financial Analyst in a Greek consulting company. Many times since now, my current research and theoretical background together with my working experience have signalized to me the need of Mathematics for Industry NETwork. Thus, I am very happy of being part of the MI-NET action, representing Greece and supporting the widespread application of mathematics to all industrial sectors.
Attending the MI-NET meeting, held for two days (27th and 28th of October) in Bath, was a very valuable experience in that it provided me the chance to meet in person and interact with the action’s participants from many other country-members of the action. I really enjoyed the fruitful discussions during networking sessions and dinner hours as well as the insightful presentations and talks given by the speakers during the first day’s workshop. The event was very well organized and it managed successfully to foster collaborations between all its participants.
As a member of Education and Training WG, I was also able to attend the second day meeting. During this meeting, I realized that there are many regions in Europe, including also Greece, where the gap between the mathematical sciences and industry is big and the relationship between them is really weak. Therefore, it seems that there is a window of opportunity and there is still a lot of room for improvement and further promotion of mathematics in science, technology and business. Thus, the MI-NET action can be of major significance to stimulate these interactions and identify the mechanisms for strengthening such links in order for mathematics to be effectively applied in a business environment.
Generally speaking, mathematics has been called the language of science. Being a member of the MI-NET action, I strongly believe that when this “language” is spoken and mathematical models are consequently applied, mathematics can serve to build the bridges between knowledge and business and lead to cutting-edge solutions. Nowadays, there is an increasing sphere of industrial issues to which mathematics is able to aid and contribute. That being said, this COST action will be able to efficiently face these challenges and contribute for mutually beneficial knowledge transfer between academia and industry.
I am inclined to believe that the foreseen industry workshops, training weeks, and short-term scientific missions (STSMs), that are going to be organized in the frame of MI-NET, will contribute to cross the boundary between mathematics and business and strengthen coordination and cooperation both at national and international levels. So, I would like to encourage other co-fellow Phd students and Early-Stage Researchers to grab the MI-NET opportunities coming from Modelling Weeks and STSMs and participate in them in order to gain experience with the applications of mathematics in real world industrial problems.