A donation of £1.3 million has been made to the Heriot-Watt University International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). They hope the grant will assist the ICMS in continuing its work hosting research workshops for mathematical scientists.
The grant is to cover the work of the ICMS for a total of four years, from 2012 to 2016. The EPSRC expect that their donation will help young mathematicians, in particular, benefit from the workshops which they claim provide them with the chance to work with senior researchers, industry and the government.
In a statement in response to a query about their reasons for making the donation, the EPSRC praised the high quality of ICMS's workshops, saying:"[the workshops] nurture the next generation of mathematical scientists by encouraging the participation of young researchers at the events.
"The events offer considerable opportunity for networking, opening up wider possibilities in terms of career paths for younger participants. There is also greater scope for them to be offered crucial training opportunities either in the UK or overseas."
The EPSRC also emphasised the global relevance of the ICMS, continuing: "The meetings also attract scientists from all over the world so offering a forum for communicating new ideas and techniques from their country."
The EPSRC say that the workshops can effect change by developing ideas within multi-disciplinary sciences that will be of aid to businesses and the government in the future.
While the grant's benefits aim to maintain and possibly improve the standards of the ICMS's workshops, by cultivating knowledge in the mathematical sciences, graduates of these disciplines might enter into better working environments in which to develop new ideas. This fits in with the EPSRC's long-term goals in promoting innovations which also have commercial benefits, as stated on their website.
With regards to the relevance of the ICMS itself to academia, a spokesperson for Heriot-Watt University said: "I am told [that] the professors get support to organize workshops at ICMS and the PhD students get funding to attend them."