What is the relationship between TGM and the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI)?
TGM is an initiative conceived by the Isaac Newton Institute in response to the UK government's agenda on the "impact" of academic research. It is located within the University of Cambridge's Centre for Mathematical Sciences site, next to the INI building. INI's Management Committee provides guidance to TGM on operational matters.
From a scientific perspective, TGM facilitates the flow of existing knowledge and ideas from the mathematical sciences to potential users whereas INI facilitates cutting-edge research in the mathematical sciences and across a wide spectrum of disciplines where significant mathematical challenges are to be found.
There are synergies and strong lines of communication between INI and TGM, but their short-term goals are different.
What is the relationship between TGM and the University of Cambridge and in particular, the Centre for Mathematical Sciences (CMS) at Cambridge?
TGM is managed by a Mathematics Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF). This post is funded by the University of Cambridge and the post-holder is a member of the University’s Network of Research and Knowledge Transfer Facilitators. TGM has strong links to the CMS with multi-disciplinary access across the University.
Is TGM a national facility and if so, what makes it thus?
Although TGM is managed by a University of Cambridge Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF), it is being developed to facilitate the interchange of knowledge and ideas between academics and users of modern mathematics across the UK. Anyone can approach TGM for advice and support: through its relationship with the Isaac Newton Institute, TGM seeks to support and collaborate across the whole of the UK mathematics community.
What is the governance of TGM?
INI's Management Committee provides guidance to TGM on operational matters and areas of development. Additionally, TGM is establishing an Advisory Board for guidance on scientific matters and strategic opportunities, with representation from industry, academia, government and other public bodies such as Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) and policy organisations.
Is TGM concerned only with finding mathematicians who will solve problems posed by industry, or is it concerned also with finding industrial applications for mathematicians with relevant results?
TGM aims to facilitate communication between mathematicians and others who recognise that they have a need for a mathematical perspective. It aims to be flexible and may help match mathematicians with the needs of potential end users. To this end it will investigate the possibility of creating a Register of Mathematical Expertise in which mathematicians from across the UK who are interested in working with other disciplines or application domains might register their areas of interest. TGM will then use this information when matching academics and specific projects.
What is the difference between TGM and Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs)?
There are various schemes already in place to help researchers work with industry, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).These provide leading academics with the opportunity to spend about half a day per week for between 6 and 36 months applying knowledge and expertise to important problems facing particular businesses thereby gaining insight into business requirements and operations.
KTNs are by definition large membership networks bringing together individuals that have an interest in a technology/scientific area. Their activities generally include brokering between companies and academia, bringing people together through various networking activities, representing industry to government, provision of information resources. Among other activities the Industrial Mathematics KTN runs annual Study Groups to enable the rapid generation and refinement of ideas, through direct contact between industrialists and mathematicians. They typically last one week and involve a group of between 6 and 8 companies presenting individual problems and challenges to an academic 'workforce', who then choose which problem(s) they wish to contribute to. Conclusions are captured in presentations and subsequent written reports, providing a long-term record and wider dissemination.
The annual Study Groups of the Industrial Mathematics KTN are close to the aspirations of TGM. However, a key difference is that the TGM will be active throughout the year and can be more focused in relation to specific objectives. It will not attempt to address the concerns of entire communities or application domains. Rather, it is concerned with facilitating solutions to specific well-framed problems.
Although focused in practice, TGM is very broad in scope: the ubiquitous nature of mathematics means that the interests of TGM overarches all of the KTN areas and therefore aims to offer services to them all.
How is TGM funded?
The Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF) post which manages TGM is funded by the University of Cambridge through the Higher Education Innovation Funding scheme (HEIF). However, TGM activities require independent funding, such as through other public/government sources, industrial sponsorship and participant registration fees.
What is meant by 'impact'?
According to Research Councils UK, academic impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to academic advances, across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, methods, theory and application, while economic and societal impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. TGM aims to facilitate both these types of impact.
Could TGM be involved with the mathematical training of early-career researchers?
As part of its activities working with industry and other disciplines, TGM is concerned with mathematical training, particularly as it relates to the need to improve standards across different scientific and industrial communities. The social and environmental sciences have already identified areas needing improvement including risk modelling, statistical analysis, and methodological skills and techniques.
What academic and non-academic staff does TGM employ?
The Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF) is currently the only employee and first point of contact at TGM. She works in consultation with the TGM Scientific Advisory Board, the INI Management Committee, and the supporting academic staff from CMS and the Director and Deputy Director of INI.
I am an academic. How can I get involved with TGM?
In the first instance, contact the Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF). TGM will look into the creation of an Academic Registry of Expertise in the near future, enabling you to register your areas of expertise. Eventually TGM hopes to be able to use this information to match academics to specific industry projects where applicable.
I am an individual from a company. How can I get involved with TGM?
In the first instance, contact the Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF). TGM welcomes all ideas and enquiries. Delivery mechanisms for agreed activities can take many forms, such as workshops, consultations, training or research programmes, or a very specific project. Whatever the need, TGM will endeavour to create a space for researchers and users of mathematics to work together.
I am a government official. How can I get involved with TGM?
In the first instance, contact the Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF). TGM can provide a vehicle for delivery of specific initiatives around identified themes and issues. By doing this, it can assist in the maximisation of impacts for government organisations such as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Research Councils and the Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs). Specifically it can access networks of contacts globally across the mathematical sciences and other relevant disciplines through its links with the Isaac Newton Institute (INI). The KTF is also able to leverage industry links and contacts across main sectors. As with industry, deliverables can take the form of workshops/consultations, training and research programmes, or specific projects.