The role of mathematics has changed over the past three decades from a rather theoretic-oriented fundamental science to a simultaneously majorly applied-oriented science, which – via mathematical modeling, simulation, and optimization (MSO) – forms as “enabling technology” the backbone of all high technology fields. It primarily addresses main social questions as they are established in the High-Tech Strategy 2020, from climate to energy to medicine and health care system.
Thereby, the Federal Republic of Germany has assumed a pioneering role, in large part due to the BMBF program “Mathematics for Innovations in Industry and Services” that has been conducted successfully since 1993, and has influenced the landscape of MSO research lastingly. As was concluded at the BMBF-facilitated “Strategy Day for Mathematics 2020”, the great potential of MSO for society as well as competitiveness of industry and economy can be exhausted in considerably better ways, such as by specific network activities and new cooperation structures, as well as intensified communication and public outreach measurements.
Following the recommendations of the Strategy Day, the Committee for Mathematical Modeling, Simulation and Optimization (KoMSO) was established as central office to connect decentralized networks by region and topic, organize cooperation and exchange of experiences, as well as make visible the overall network.
It is the purpose of the central network to support the joint projects of the on-going BMBF program “Mathematics for Innovations in Industry and Services” through network activities, public relations work, dissemination of mathematical methods and research findings, publication of success stories, as well as determination of current and future demand areas in challenge workshops. These measures are to be realized in cooperation with KoMSO, whose office is in charge of coordinating.
“No other science permeates and influences all areas of life and work to this extent: From automobile manufacture to road construction planning, from supermarket shopping to architecture, from weather forecast to MP3 player, from rail traffic to the Internet – everything is (also) mathematics.” (Translated excerpt from the announcement of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF, for the Year of Mathematics 2008)
The methods of mathematical modeling, numerical simulation and optimization provide valuable contributions – widely unnoticed by the public – to economic development. Whether climate and energy, health and nutrition, mobility, security or communication, in all demand areas of the High Tech Strategy 2020 of the German Federal Government mathematics play a leading role for Germany as a location of technology.
Of main importance is basic research, which forms the foundation for both simple tools as well as for complex theories.
At the intersection of science and industry the potentials of mathematics are by far not exhausted. By employing modern mathematical methods, an infinite deal more as well as more complex problems could be solved than before, resulting in innovative contributions.
The goal of sponsorship in this area is optimal opening up and communication of the innovation potential of mathematics as key technology, especially for industry and the service sector.