Working With Industry
Our approach to working with industry derives from our long-standing culture of applied research and direct engagement with a wide range of industrial, government and commercial users through consultancy, knowledge transfer and training, underpinned by fundamental research from across the mathematical sciences. We have fostered strategic partnerships with various business and organisations with global reach. The School regularly hosts impact workshops and conferences, secures research funding from industry, and seeks to maximise the impact of our research through close collaboration with users and beneficiaries from the outset. Below are just a few examples of some of the core research themes within the School and resulting impact with user engagement.
Mathematical Modelling for Healthcare
The Research conducted in the School has engineered radical, lifesaving, improvements to UK healthcare systems. New mathematical models, accounting for the complexity and diversity of the health system, have been created and applied in a variety of contexts to markedly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of a wide range of healthcare services - at policy, commissioning and operational levels. Transition of the School’s healthcare research into effective outcomes has been facilitated through the formation of Health Modelling Centre Cymru (hmc2), a pan-Wales research centre that collaborates with stakeholders in the health sector (Welsh Government, NHS Wales, Public Health Wales and local Health Boards).
“The work of the School of Mathematics has, and is continuing to, improve the clinical and cost effectiveness of services and to inform our clinical strategy.” Director of Acute Services, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Illustrative impact: Net efficiency gain of approximately £1.6m in the A&E department through detailed mathematical modelling that enabled hospital managers to examine the reconfiguration of services and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care provided.“
Robust Models for Understanding Consumer Buying Behaviour
The Staff within the School of Mathematics have developed important statistical and mathematical models for forecasting consumer buying behaviour. Enhancements to classical models, inspired by extensively studying their statistical properties, have allowed us to exploit their vast potential to benefit the sales and marketing strategies of manufacturing and retail organisations. The research has been endorsed and applied by Nielsen, the #1 global market research organisation that provides services to clients in 100 countries. Nielsen has utilised the models to augment profits and retain their globally leading corporate position. This has led to a US$30 million investment and been used to benefit major consumer goods manufacturers such as Pepsi, Kraft, Unilever, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble.
“The positive results of this work have confirmed the theory as a viable foundation for effective forecasting and related analyses, as well as providing insights on efficient methods for analysis and estimation.” Vice President of AC Nielsen Product Development Impact: The subsequent economic rewards are confidential but are expected to significantly exceed US$50 million. “
Meeting the Challenges of Data Security
The security of data in printing and network environments is an area of increasing concern to individuals, businesses, government organisations and security agencies throughout the world. Mathematical algorithms developed at the School of Mathematics at Cardiff University represent a significant step-change in existing data security techniques. The algorithms enable greater security in automatic document classification and summarisation, information retrieval and image understanding. Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world’s leading PC vendor, funded the research underpinning this development and patented the resulting software, with the aim of strengthening its position as the market leader in this sector of the global information technology industry. Hewlett Packard has incorporated the algorithms in a schedule of upgrades to improve the key security features in over ten million of their electronic devices. Accordingly, the impact claimed is mitigating data security risks for HP users and clients and substantial economic gain for the company.
“The algorithms developed by Cardiff University are novel to data mining and are extremely valuable to our organisation. They enable us to successfully compete within the industry and drive technology forward to meet the evolving needs of our clients.” HP Fellow, Director and Chief Technologist for Security Printing and Imaging Engineering, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.“
We seek to promote the mathematical sciences with the wider community through public engagement and educational outreach events. In the last 4 years alone we have provided outreach events reaching over 1,800 secondary school students. We run a series of lectures with high profile speakers (e.g. Johnny Ball, Carol Vorderman), work in partnership with the Further Mathematics Support programme, host the UK Mathematics Trust team challenges and teacher-training events, and run an undergraduate maths ambassadors scheme. Staff also contribute to national initiatives such as Learn About OR (www.learnaboutor.co.uk) from the Operational Reasearch Society.
We are very happy to provide enrichment sessions or maths-related careers talks, either in schools or have students visit us on campus. We have developed a range of interactive outreach materials such as topics on game theory and mathematical epidemiology.
Find out about the range of curriculum linked school engagement activities offered by Cardiff University by visiting the Curriculum Support webpage.