Review of Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences

A review of knowledge exchange in the mathematical sciences, chaired by Council for Science and Technology member, Professor Philip Bond, has been launched with support from EPSRC and Innovate UK's Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The review was proposed by a community meeting at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh in October 2015, where participants discussed examples of best practice across UK universities, common issues faced in facilitating knowledge exchange and a potential roadmap for knowledge exchange in the mathematical sciences. A key outcome of the meeting was the identification of the need for an independent review to explore these themes in detail, a suggestion which Professor Alan Champneys from the University of Bristol volunteered to take forward.

The review will seek examples of best practice in knowledge exchange from UK mathematical sciences and elsewhere, review models for supporting, incentivising, promoting and providing governance of mathematical knowledge exchange activities, and will seek to describe a roadmap for knowledge exchange in the mathematical sciences.

Evidence gathering for the review will take place throughout 2017 with the findings expected to be disseminated in early 2018. A review committee has been established through an open Expressions of Interest process to gather evidence from key stakeholders, including Higher Education Institutes, funders, knowledge exchange experts, learned societies, research institutes and research users. The work is beginning now, and we expect there to be many opportunities for the wider community to engage with it.

EPSRC and KTN have agreed to provide expertise and administrative support to the review and to join a small steering committee for the review. EPSRC Mathematical Sciences theme lead Philippa Hemmings said: One of EPSRC's key strategies is 'accelerating impact' and efficient knowledge exchange between mathematical scientists, researchers in related disciplines and end users is fundamental to realising this. We are looking forward to working with the review committee to identify the approaches to knowledge exchange which have proven to be effective in the mathematical sciences and to understand how these processes can operate more effectively in the future. Matt Butchers, Industrial Mathematics Knowledge Transfer Manager at the KTN said: Good KE should benefit all involved. This review looks to define what 'good' looks like, understand where there are barriers to this routinely occurring, and suggest ways in which the UK can better support this vital area.

The review committee consists of the following members;

Member Institution
David Abrahams Isaac Newton Institute
Philip Aston University of Surrey
Colin Bleak University of St Andrews
Alan Champneys University of Bristol
Joseph Connor Experto Crede
Rama Cont Imperial College London
Stephen Corson University of Strathclyde
Richard Craster Imperial College London
Joerg Fliege University of Southampton
Paul Harper Cardiff University
Andrew Hogg University of Bristol
Joanna Jordan University of Bath
Mark Kelmanson University of Leeds
Dick Lacey Home Office
Jane Leeks Turing Gateway to Mathematics
David Leslie Lancaster University
Daniel Lesnic University of Leeds
Bill Lionheart The University of Manchester
James Lofthouse Home Office
Gabriel Lord Heriot-Watt University
Adrian Mardell Jaguar Land Rover
Jeremy Oakley University of Sheffield
Richard Pinch GCHQ
Matthew Revie University of Strathclyde
Edward Rochead Ministry of Defence
Sanjiv Sharma Airbus
Manuchehr Soleimano University of Bath
Brendan Spillane University of Warwick
David Standingford Zenotech

Enquiries relating to the review should be directed to Matt Butchers, KTN (, or Mike Ward, EPSRC (

Opportunities to Contribute

Two surveys are currently open which we invite anyone who has been involved in mathematical sciences knowledge exchange to respond to:

  • Expectations - the first survey aims to gauge what people's expectations, motivations and experiences are when engaging in KE in mathematical science (which could include research and business KE and inter-disciplinary KE) for various kinds of end-users. It is important for the review that those who do not engage currently with mathematical scientists also take part and complete as much of the review as is possible.
  • Case Study Gathering - the second survey aims to gather examples of current or recent KE activities within the mathematical sciences. We are particularly interested to identify examples of KE from more fundamental areas of research, and examples where barriers have been encountered.

Please note both surveys close on 23 May 2017.