In the last call for grants for “Research Networks”, the State Research Agency (AEI) reiterated its support, in the category of strategic networks, for the Strategic Network in Mathematics, financing its activity with €50,000 in the period 2019-2021. To this end, the Agency has taken into account the increase in the economic and social impact of mathematics in Spain in recent years, assuring that the financing of this network would serve to “boost the development of our competitiveness within the European social environment, favouring Spanish leadership and valuing the experience of the industrial sector and the Spanish centres of excellence in R+D+i”.
In its analysis of the proposal presented by the REM, the agency has positively assessed the scientific-technical quality, relevance and viability of the network, pointing out that this is a project with excellence to ensure the advancement and internationalization of the Spanish R&D system. He also highlighted the trajectory of the research team that makes up the network and the international impact of the proposal.
The nodes that make up the network will work so that the consolidation of the REM contributes to increasing the scientific and economic impact of mathematics, developing the capacity to transfer science and technology to the industrial fabric. On the other hand, they aspire to propose new mechanisms to deal with generational change, to promote the improvement of gender equality and scientific vocations, as well as to increase the international visibility of avant-garde research carried out in Spain in this field.
Prof. Luis Vega, who leads the coordination of the REM in the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics – BCAM, says that considering mathematics as strategic is a decision “very much in line with the economic and social changes that the digital age is causing”. He also assures that knowing how to adapt to these changes and give satisfactory solutions to the new problems that arise is, at the same time, “a challenge for the Spanish mathematical community”.
About the Strategic Network in Mathematics (REM)
In 2017, eight centres and institutions in the field of mathematics created the Strategic Network in Mathematics (REM) with the aim of promoting research into this science and its applications, as well as improving its strategic positioning in Spain. Among the actions carried out by the network in its two years is the preparation of the Study of the socio-economic impact of research and the transfer of mathematical technology in Spain, which concluded that the direct, indirect and induced impact of intensive activities in mathematics generated in 2016 19.4% of employment in the country (3,233,000 jobs) and 26.8% of GDP (273,307 million euros).
Specifically, the network is formed by the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Seville (IMUS), the Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BSGMath), the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (CRM), the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM), Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas (ICMAT), the Network of University Schools in Mathematics (RedIUM), the Spanish Network for Mathematics and Industry (Math-in) and the Public Spanish Centers of High Education (through the Conference of Deans of Mathematics).
Between 2017 and 2019 the network was managed by the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Seville (IMUS) and in the period 2020-2021 the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) will take over. The team at BCAM will manage the network under the leadership of Professor Luis Vega (BCAM-UPV/EHU) and the support of an executive committee composed of members from all nodes.