Continuing our series of blogs in the run up to Engage with Strathclyde (May 5th to 8th 2015), Dr Sean McGinty, a Research and Knowledge Exchange Associate at the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics writes for Glasgow City of Science on a SMART way to support solving real world problems.

In the last few years knowledge exchange has become something of a buzzword. If you work or study at a university or are involved in government then you will know all about it. If you don’t, you may be wondering “what is knowledge exchange?” and “why is it important?”

Quite simply, knowledge exchange is the bringing together of researchers and stakeholders to exchange ideas. This includes academics, professionals from industry, business and public sectors, as well as the wider general public.

In order to develop a true understanding of the challenges of today’s society, researchers (who typically create knowledge) and stakeholders (who typically make use of this knowledge) must come together. Since a large amount of research is funded through Research Councils, which are supported by public money, knowledge exchange ensures that research is relevant and will have a positive impact in society. Knowledge exchange is driving the future of science, technology and business.

Knowledge exchange can take many different forms including public lectures, collaborations between universities and external organisations, the establishment of spin-out companies, consultancy services and the provision of training courses. The whole spectrum of subjects and disciplines is covered, and very often knowledge exchange involves bringing people together with very different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. However, there is one discipline that reaches out to all other disciplines and sectors, and it’s probably not the one you would expect…

Mathematics and Statistics finds applications across science, technology and business and has relevance in almost every aspect of society. This is why the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are providing an exciting new knowledge exchange service called SMART.

The statistics and mathematics advice, research and training unit (SMART) provides people working in industry, business and public sectors, as well as academics from all disciplines with the opportunity to access statistical and mathematical support and training from a team of experienced professionals.

SMART can offer advice on study design, data analysis and visualisation, and the use of statistical and mathematical modelling as a tool for solving real-world problems. Generally speaking, if there is data to be analysed, or a process/product to be designed, improved or optimised, then SMART can probably help. CPD training courses in areas of mathematics and statistics are also on offer, and these can be tailored to suit the needs of your team or workforce. SMART are already working in areas as diverse as health, finance and energy, but their reach has no boundaries.

As part of Engage with Strathclyde week, SMART is holding a launch event on the evening of 6th May. For further information and to register for this free event, check out the website. Here you can also book a FREE 15 minute consultancy session to see how thinking SMART can help your business or organisation.


Read more blogs about Engage with Strathclyde Week on our website:

Engage with Strathclyde – An innovative approach to knowledge exchange

Asteroids and Space Debris – Space for Education