The Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences (V-KEMS)

International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS), Isaac Newton Institute (INI) , The Newton Gateway to Mathematics, and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) are working with various representatives from the mathematical sciences community to develop a virtual platform for engagement. The main aim is to identify a range of virtual approaches that will help address challenges from business and industry, the third sector, and other groups outside academia. These challenges may be long-standing or may have arisen directly as a consequence of the present disruption to UK society. Many initiatives are already taking place to help provide infrastructure and resources to clinicians and others who are urgently helping to model the pandemic. Where appropriate, we are offering direct support to this activity.

However, we are also able to identify broader areas for input from the mathematical sciences community – for example tackling issues related to food and other essential supply chains, logistics etc. The mechanisms for delivery will include virtual study groups (VSGs), webinars and the formation of virtual teams of mathematicians. The latter will aim to rapidly clarify, formalise and triage the problems/challenges from business, industry, the public and third sectors, whether they are directly associated with the COVID-19 virus or of a wider, more longstanding, and nature.

The V-KEMS webpage is available here.


At this stage we propose 3 main activities.

• Mathematical Support to Business, Industry, the Public Sector and Third Sectors

• Webinars/Scoping Meetings

• Virtual Study Group

Mathematical Support to Business, Industry, the Public Sector and Third Sectors

Where industry, business, the public or third sector has an identified challenge/problem that would benefit from mathematical input (such as physical modelling, statistics, data analysis etc.), the forum will help facilitate this, by putting the organisation in contact with relevant individuals or teams from the mathematical sciences community who will undertake a scoping and triaging process. More information is available here 

Webinars/Scoping Meetings

The forum will provide the infrastructure to host appropriate webinars/scoping meetings online. These could include one or several talks, with options to participate in parallel sessions via virtual breakout rooms. This forum will help host the webinar, advertise the event, invite participants and support follow up activity. More information is available here.

Virtual Study Group

One potential way forward from the mathematical support and/or webinars is to tackle problems via a virtual study group. This forum is exploring the feasibility of this and is trialling a few approaches during April 2020. The pilot study group activities went well and we are planning to hold further Virtual Study Groups in the coming weeks/months. Details will appear in due course.

Forum Partners

The activities suggested here are what the forum partners believe are required and achievable at the current time. If you have an idea that doesn’t fit into these categories then please contact us ( and we can discuss further.


Forthcoming Events

Future events will be captured in the calendar below. Links in the calendar will take you to further information for the separate events/activities.


There was a weekly seminar series, Scientific understanding and modelling of the decontamination of COVID-19 infected spaces and surfacesRec

Recordings from the seminar series are avialable on the webpage.

Details of previous V-KEMS supported are available on the webpage.