- Mathematical tools such as machine learning and deep learning, statistics, simulation, modeling and big data are capable of contributing to an efficient, competitive and more resilient industrial fabric in the face of a crisis.
- The node, with some thirty entities -including companies such as Repsol and BBVA AI Factory, and high-level research centers- will be the breeding ground for collaborations that solve great challenges related to health, demographic change, the climate crisis and energy production.
- In addition, it will act as a ‘one stop shop’ so that any company, especially SMEs, has at their disposal all the knowledge to solve problems such as process optimization, digitization and connectivity…
Friday, May 21, 2021. During the deep crisis that began in 2008, almost 10 percent of annual employment was lost on average in the following four years, a figure that only reached two percent in companies with a high mathematical intensity . Now, almost a decade later, the impact of covid-19 destroys eight out of every 100 jobs, only this time, the industries that digitized and optimized their processes by incorporating mathematical tools not only have not suffered the blow, but they have increased their staff, according to data from a study carried out by AFI in 2019 and promoted by the Andalusian Institute of Mathematics. Now, the Spanish Mathematics-Industry Network (math-in) has created the Spanish Platform for Modeling, Simulation and Optimization Technologies in a Digital Environment, the first hub in the field of mathematics in Spain and Europe, which promises to be a melting pot where this discipline and the industry go hand in hand.
“All mathematical technologies are translated into algorithms that, when introduced into the computer, can take advantage of the information collected by control tools, such as sensors; to obtain optimal digitized results that are easily integrated into the systems that the company already has installed”, explains Peregrina Quintela who has been elected president of the Platform. And it is that this discipline of science is the silent basis of many daily advances. They are in the early detection of stroke; in indoor GPS where, even if the satellite signal does not reach them, they guide patients through the corridors of a hospital to the door of their office; in the sprinklers that do not water if it rains; in the garbage trucks that trace the most convenient route depending on which containers are full; in the detection of leaks and disproportionate consumption of water, in the detection of covid-19 in wastewater… Behind all of them there is modeling, artificial intelligence algorithms, machine and deep learning, among others, which feed on the data generated in an increasingly digital world to achieve a qualitative leap in a process.
The great potential of mathematics to solve real challenges explains why large companies such as Repsol, Petronor, BBVA AI Factory and TSK, among many others, have already joined the initiative. “They are active members of the Platform and its working groups, and they define the strategies to address the challenges they face, which in this way will be very oriented to the real needs of the industry. Because one thing is that from the academic field we imagine what they are and another thing is that it is the companies themselves that are participating to define them”, points out the researcher, who is also president of math-in.
The field of research is represented by leading national centers such as the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM), the Public Consortium of the Technological Institute of Industrial Mathematics (ITMATI); more than a dozen public universities; and national groups such as the Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics (SEMA) and the Society of Statistics and Operational Research (SEIO); among many. To further stimulate the interaction between the two poles – industry and academia – the Platform will organize events where both can meet. In addition, it will serve as a catalyst for the creation of consortiums and projects that are eligible for public and private financing.
The almost thirty entities that, at the moment, make up the Platform “are behind this kind of single window in which any company can state its needs, without having to go looking from institution to institution,” explains Alba Márquez, technology translator at the Technical Secretariat of the Platform. This is especially relevant for SMEs, which do not have to have their own research and innovation department, and thus have all the leading mathematical disciplines at their fingertips to solve their daily problems. The ultimate goal is “to contribute to an efficient, safe, sustainable, resilient and competitive industrial fabric,” adds Quintela.
“From the Platform we seek a greater impact and return to society of the resources financed through basic research in the field of mathematics, the first link in the chain”, continues Quintela. For this reason, part of its effort is aimed at providing solutions to three “Challenges of Society” that the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020 marked as strategic. Specifically, those referring to Health, Demographic Change and Well-being; Safe, Efficient and Clean Energy; and Climate Change and Use of Natural Resources and Raw Materials.
Another “key” aspect is the subsequent transfer of scientific results, the researcher points out. To this end, dissemination actions will be carried out for the academic world, industry, those responsible for formulating scientific policies, and the general public. In this way, it is also possible to raise awareness of the great potential of mathematics in the challenges that humanity needs to solve, incorporate new public and private entities in the platform, and make the return to society of the results of the research activity mainly financed more visible. for public funds.
The Platform, to which Bartomeu Coll (Universitat de les Illes Balears) also joins as vice president, is financed by the State Research Agency, Ministry of Science and Innovation, within the call for grants for Technological and Innovation Platforms, of the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to the Challenges of Society, within the framework of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020. The initiative, with reference PTR2020-001163, is supported by the Mathematics-Industry Thematic Network (RTmath-in, RED2018-102514-T), financed by MCIU-AEI.
More information about the Platform:
About the Spanish Mathematics-Industry Network (math-in)
The Spanish Network of Mathematics-Industry (math-in) was born, as a private non-profit association, on September 30, 2011 with the signing of its Constitution Act in Santiago de Compostela. Currently, the network is made up of around forty research groups belonging to around twenty different Spanish universities and research centres; all of them present their offer and their technological capacities through the single window in Spain that the network offers them.
Math-in focuses its activity on promoting and carrying out the transfer of mathematical technology to the business and industrial sphere, thus fostering an increase in the competitiveness of both the research groups involved and the industry itself.
It is also the Spanish node of the European Service Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation EU-MATHS-IN since the year of its foundation in 2013, which has 18 national networks belonging to as many European countries.
CONTACT for more information and interviews:
Elvira del Pozo (DIVULGA)
Tel. 91 742 42 18