Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the UK Mathematical Sciences

ICMS, The Bayes Centre, 47 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BT

20 - 22 February 2019

Organising Committee

  • David Abrahams (Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences)
  • Martine Barons (University of Warwick)
  • Matt Butchers, (Knowledge Transfer Network)
  • Colin Bleak (University of St Andrews)
  • Jo Jordan (ICMS Board Member)
  • Colin Please (University of Oxford)

This three-day strategic workshop will examine the role and opportunities for the mathematical sciences in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund [1].
This workshop will explore the following question:

Are the mathematical sciences engaging properly in leading, partnering and / or contributing in general to the ISCF programme? If not, how can we improve this?

  • Day One will explore the opportunities and current level of engagement with the previously announced Waves 1 and 2 (~ 1.7 bn allocated). How can we maximise engagement with these well-established programmes?
  • Day Two will explore the emerging opportunities offered by Wave 3, whose programmes are in an earlier stage of delivery. What is the mathematical science offering for these programmes?
  • Day Three will explore how the mathematical sciences could better respond to challenge-led opportunities by defining a number of industry-led proposals which are underpinned by the mathematical sciences.

The outputs will be concrete proposals and actions to ensure the ISCF is strengthened by the involvement of the mathematical sciences. The aim of the Industrial Strategy is to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure [2]. A major component of this is in challenge-led research awarded via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). The ISCF:

  • Builds on the UK’s world-class research base and delivers the science that business needs to transform existing industries and create new ones
  • Accelerates commercial exploitation of the most exciting technologies the UK has to offer the world to ensure that scientific investment truly delivers economic impact, jobs and growth right across the country
  • Programmes delivered by the fund will be industry-led and powered by multi- disciplinary research and business-academic collaboration
  • Delivered by Innovate UK and Research Councils UK, and eventually UK Research and Innovation, the single voice for the UK’s research and innovation landscape

The recent Review of Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences proposed that the ISCF affords a great opportunity for the mathematical sciences, given the potential for researchers in this field to engage in multidisciplinary research [3].

  • We strongly recommend deeper MS engagement with all stakeholders in the Industrial Strategy, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). A similar point was made in the 2010 International Review of Mathematical Sciences (EPSRC, 2011):
  • Awareness should be raised within the mathematical sciences community of wider research challenges and societal challenges (including the sustainable development goals addressed by the Global Challenges Research Fund, GCRF) and deeper integration of mathematics should be promoted within industrial challenges (including the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, ISCF).

Expressions of Iinterest (EOI) are invited for those wishing to participate in the meeting.  Expression of interest will close Friday 1st February 2019. 
We are accepting expressions of interest from:

  • UK mathematical science researchers
  • Participants from R&D active businesses
  • Civil servants and policy makers involved science and innovation

You can submit an EOI via this link

Confirmations will be issued by 8 February 2019.  Further registration info will be issued at that time.
Places will be allocated considering diversity, spread of mathematical science topics, and geographic spread.

This meeting is jointly funded by ICMS and INI. ICMS are funding this via their recently launched strategic workshop initiative. Further details are available here.