The Centre’s contributions from research and engagement advance the mathematical sciences, and extend beyond academia, benefiting a diversity of stakeholders. We realise an impact with and for collaborators, end users, and in key collaborative domains, both in the short term and over longer time horizons. ACEMS’ research and engagement deliver a range of economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits and impact for a wide range of beneficiaries, both in and beyond Australia.
The value of the Centre’s high-quality research and research outcomes – at the frontiers of the mathematical sciences – is amplified and extended via our research translation.
The Centre’s strategic approach to research translation and impact:
The Centre’s knowledge transfer extends across and beyond research, enabled by:
For the purposes of this discussion, ACEMS views impact in the context of a research pipeline (see Figure 1), where all but the last position of the pipeline represents a specific research community. Each community accesses the output of the preceding community and influences their research agenda by posing questions of importance; in this way the communication is very much bidirectional. All research communities engage with industry, government and other end users to different degrees. As a generalisation, the volume of that engagement with end-users increases along the pipeline.
Within this framework, the theoretical research community outputs new fundamental mathematical and statistical results. The applied mathematics and statistics research communities translate these fundamental results into methodologies for applied problems. Applied researchers in other fields then apply these proven methodologies to gain insights about systems, relationships and other events of interest in these fields.
Figure 1 is of course a simplification. Individual researchers might simultaneously be part of multiple research communities, and thus the environment is more akin to a network. In this network, researchers move between communities, and at times work on theoretical, methodological or applied problems. This serves to enhance communication in both directions between communities.
There are three main points where translation occurs within the system. They are:
The first of these recognises (i) that ACEMS has a fundamental aim of building bridges within the mathematical sciences, between mathematics, statistics, mathematical physics and machine learning; (ii) that ACEMS has a fundamental aim of encouraging collaboration across the whole spectrum from theory to methods and computing, to applied practice; and (iii) ACEMS is part of a wider mathematical sciences field.
The second of these recognises that mathematics and statistics are foundational supports for many other fields, and translation of ACEMS outputs to researchers in these fields will not only grow capability and innovation in this wider community, but also reach the very wide range of end-users who engage with these fields.
The third of these is the more traditional view of ‘impact’ and acknowledges that ACEMS researchers in both applied and theoretical fields engage directly with business, industry and government to develop new methods and insights directly influenced and fuelled by ‘real-world’ challenges.
The Centre strategically builds relationships and embeds knowledge for use outside academia, including by collaborators. It achieves this via:
The Centre’s research translation mechanisms include:
In this way, new knowledge, concepts, methodologies, intellectual property, and understandings generated from ACEMS research and experimental developments are shared widely, both within ACEMS’ disciplines, and beyond our disciplines and the research sector, the latter including to collaborators, end users, and other beneficiaries, both across and beyond Australia.
The Centre also supports the development of research engagement, translation and impact capabilities of ACEMS members – from research students onwards – via a range of mentoring, training, and education. Furthermore, it is crucial that these development opportunities continue to prepare members for careers both in and beyond academia. This approach is supported by data from a 2018 nationwide survey and the resulting report, “Advancing Australia’s Knowledge Economy: Who are the top PhD employers?”, published in 2019. Figure 3 is a graphic based on data from the report; it shows just over half of PhD students aspire to a career outside academia, confirming the importance of preparing our graduates for a range of career options.