Happy New (Academic) Year

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.05.49It has been another very successful year for MI-NET; highlights include the publication of the ‘Handbook for running a sustainable European Study Group with Industry’, and in widening participation, for example Macedonia, Israel, and Slovenia hosting their first Industrial Workshop, Modelling Week, and Study Group with Industry, respectively. We were also delighted to welcome Montenegro to MI-NET in January 2018.

It was rewarding to receive a very positive mid-term progress report, with particularly favorable feedback on collaboration, multidisciplinary research, early-career investigator participation, and on both the numbers of activities and countries involved in the Action.

“MI-NET shows an excellent progress, in line with the outcomes expected after 24 months of implementation. The analysis of the current Action status shows a significant degree of achievement of objectives and outcomes stated in MOU.” [Progress review summary]

Thank you very much for all the contributions to the report, and in particular to Filipa Vance for pulling it all together, and in the words of our Science Officer “managing such a demanding Action”!

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.08.39The only area of improvement was on dissemination, which forms a substantial part of our activity this year. Katerina Kaouri and Poul Hjorth organised a Science to Business session at the high-profile European Science Open Forum, ESOF 2018, Working Group 2 is currently finalising a Modelling Week Guide, and Working Groups 3 and 4 are compiling a “Mechanisms for enabling industrial maths” handbook, comprising examples of different mechanisms for collaboration and illustrative case studies from MI-NET funded work. Your input to this handbook is very much encouraged, please contact Dr Katerina Kaouri or Hilary Ockendon for more details on how to contribute.

MI-NET’s varied programme of events is on our webpage, and there are still a few STSMs – which need to take place before April 2019 – to be awarded, please encourage your colleagues to apply.

It was great to see so many members of MI-NET at the Management Committee meeting in Limerick in March, and many thanks to MACSI for hosting us. I particularly enjoyed  DY1Q2_mW0AE2GjDhearing about the wide range of industrial maths activity going on in each country, the slides of which can be downloaded here. Next Spring, the final Management Committee meeting and a celebration of MI-NET will be hosted by the Institute for Mathematical Innovation.
at the University of Bath alongside the British Applied Mathematics Colloquium (BAMC) 24-26 April 2019. This is a particularly fitting event as it typically attracts many PhD students, post-docs, and early-career researchers. The BAMC planning committee warmly invite MI-NET themed mini-symposia submissions, and contributions to the poster session. Calls will open later in the Autumn, with more details to be circulated as they become available.

As I have recently resigned from the University of Bath, I am pleased to let you know that our Vice-Chair, Prof Dietmar Hoemberg, and I have swapped roles for the final months of the MI-NET grant. Many thanks for all the hard work you are doing in championing industrial maths in your countries, and looking forward to seeing you in Bath in April!

Mi-NET-logoJoanna Jordan
September 2018

Enabling European collaboration in industrial maths

MI-NET – the EU COST Action Mathematics for Industry Network hosted by IMI – was delighted to support the first ever Study Group (problem-solving workshop) with Industry in Cyprus last month.

The workshop, 125th in the European series, brought together 50 academics from 17 different countries to work intensively for a week on tackling four real Cypriot industry challenges using mathematical thinking. From automatically generating the instructions for constructing a given toy from a kit of parts to optimising bus routes in urban Nicosia, there was a great selection of challenges for mathematicians to work on.


The Chair of ESGI 125 and MI-NET Management Committee Member for Cyprus, Dr Katerina Kaouri from the Cyprus University of Technology, commented on MI-NET’s key role:

“MI-NET funding has been catalytic for the development of industrial mathematics in Cyprus. In addition to the financial and organisational support of ESGI125, the Annual Meeting of MI-NET being held in Cyprus in the same week enabled several internationally-leading experts in industrial mathematics to participate in the ESGI125 and in various meetings with policy-makers.”

On the results obtained from the workshop, Andreas Athanasiades, General Manager of the Transport Organisation of Nicosia District (OSEL) said:

“Once again thank you very much for the report. I would like to congratulate everyone in the team and express my gratitude for all the hard work and the dedication that you have put in this project. I hope that I will be able to utilize this work for the benefit of public transportation in Cyprus and that it can cause as much impact as it should.”

For more photos from the week, please see the Study Group with Industry Cyprus Facebook page.

In the last year MI-NET has supported 6 industrial workshops, 2 mathematical modelling weeks, 5 Study Groups with Industry and 12 research visits across Europe, and is pleased to be sponsoring the First Israeli Modelling Week, to be held in July 2017.

To view MI-NET’s programme of industrial maths activities, and apply for research networking funding, see MI-NET’s event and funding pages.

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.

Modelling Camp, Edinburgh, March 21-24, 2016

On 21-24 March 2016, the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) will host a Modelling Camp.  The 3.5 day modelling camp has 3 main aims

·         To train PhD students and early career researchers in all areas of the mathematical sciences to engage in study groups and similar activities
·         To offer broader skills training – team-working, coping outside of one’s comfort zone, introduction to modelling methodology, report writing, and enhancing communication/presentation skills
·         To learn how different branches of mathematics can be applied in various industrial settings.

The meeting will be structured to maximise time for networking and informal discussions.

This modelling camp will be held in advance of the 116th European Study Group with Industry (ESGI), University of Durham, April 2016.

Further details, including funding options, are available on the website.  Funding has been secured for a limited number of delegates so early registration is recommended.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with ICMS’s Knowledge Exchange Officer, Dawn Wasley.

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