MI-NET Minisymposium – 16th June 2016 (ECMI 2016 conference)

Dr Joanna Jordan (MI-NET Chair) and Dr Filipa Vance (Grant Holder) organised a MI-NET minisymposium within the ECMI 2016 conference at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

The minisymposium included 4 talks on the various ways a researcher can participate in MI-NET activities and featured a lively and fruitful discussion between the minisymposium participants.

A short description of the talks, with downloadable slides, follows below:

Dr Joanna Jordan (Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation, UK) opened the minisymposium by describing the background to MI-NET, outlining the MI-NET vision, the benefits of joining the network, planned events, and the funding available for industrial maths activities.

Dr Vivi Rottschäfer (Leiden University, NL) gave a talk with the title Bringing Companies and Mathematicians together via European Study Groups with Industry. Vivi eloquently relayed her experiences from initiating and coordinating Study Groups with Industry in the Netherlands every year, sharing achievements and challenges. In the Netherlands, the Study Group Steering Committee (Vivi is the chair of the committee) identify a local research organization every year and inform them how to run a Study Group. Over the months the Committee keep in contact with the organisation to see how they are progressing. A useful outreach practice was also shared by Vivi: to communicate Study Group results to the public using  publications that are written by professional science writers. Moreover, they developed a national website that serves as an archive of all previous Dutch Study Groups and will facilitate organisation of upcoming ones.

Vivi closed her talk by inviting the audience to the next Dutch Study Group, 23-27 January 2017 in Amsterdam. MI-NET funds Study Groups in countries that do not organise these yet through a competitive application process-you can find more details here.

Subsequently, Dr Tihomir Ivanov (University of Sofia, BG) delivered a talk on Modelling Weeks in the MI-NET framework. Tihomir is the Chair of the Organising Committee of Study Groups in Bulgaria and the lead organizer of the 30th ECMI Modelling Week. Tihomir recounted the time he participated in an ECMI Modelling Week (MW) as a student, many years ago. He remembers the MW as a great experience that initiated him in solving industrial problems with mathematics, and to the benefits of teamwork. He went on to describe the structure of a Modelling Week. This year the ECMI Modelling Week is taking place 17-24 July in Sofia, just before the Study Group in Bulgaria (ESGI 120). MI-NET offers funding opportunities for ECMI-style Modelling Weeks – you can find more details here.

Finally, Dr Katerina Kaouri (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus) talked about Research Visits within MI-NET. Research visits (Short Term Scientific Missions –STSMs) are exchange visits to an institution or laboratory in another COST country that is part of MI-NET. Visits can last between 5-90 days for an established researcher and 5-180 days for an early career investigator (up to 8 years post PhD). They can be from a university to another university, and from industry to academia or vice versa. Dr Katerina Kaouri presented the process of applying for an STSM and relayed her experience from a recent STSM to the University of Oxford. Katerina is also leading the organization of the 1st Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, to take place 5-9 December 2016 with financial support from MI-NET and she finished her presentation by inviting all to attend.