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Mathematics Could Help The Fight Against Crime

The ability of mathematics to explore, properly formulate and provide solutions to problems could help in the fight against crime.

This is just one of the objectives of the NETIAM project (New and emerging themes in industrial and applied mathematics) being funded with the help of 180,000 euros under the New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) activity of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project brings together partners from the UK, Latvia, Germany, The Netherlands and Italy., ,'Mathematics has a great untapped potential as a foundation for building adventurous and multidisciplinary research proposals. Its conventional use is as a tool for analysis and quantitative modelling in well-specified areas, says project manager Melvin Brown, from the Smith Institute. NETIAM will focus on a much earlier stage in the process, namely where mathematics can be used as a framework for the formulation of unexplored research challenges. 'In this way, it will directly support NEST's aim to anticipate needs in new and emerging areas.' The NETIAM project will use mathematics to address four areas:,· New multidisciplinary challenges in modelling the business environment;,· Modelling criminality in the social environment;,· Challenges in visualisation and simulation for virtual materials analysis and design;,· Complexity at the molecular level., ,These themes are very different, and were selected as areas of particular emerging opportunity for the development and use of mathematics for the formation of new multidisciplinary collaborations. Applying mathematical models to the business world may lead to the development of desktop risk management systems, enabling sustainable growth and improving competitiveness., ,Modelling criminality in the social environment may lead to the construction of models of collective behaviour, with the ultimate aim of advising on the control of this behaviour, as well as tools for understanding and predicting crime. This Framework Six funding grant recognises the ability of mathematics to explore, properly formulate and provide solutions to problems across a very wide range of applications, says Dr Naomi Webber, FP6UK Contact Point for New and Emerging Science and Technology. NETIAM will, at the same time, engage the research community in identifying future research opportunities and build awareness of the NEST activity. The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free, easy to access, information on the 19bn of funding available to support internationally collaborative R&D should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080. For further information on NETIAM see http://www.netiam.netThe EU's Framework Programmes are the worlds largest, publicly funded, research and technological development programmes. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) covers the period 2002-2006 and is the European Unions main instrument for the funding of collaborative research and innovation. It is open to public and private entities of all sizes in the EU and a number of non-EU countries. It has an overall budget of 19 billion. Most of the budget for FP6 is devoted to work in seven priority thematic areas:,? Life sciences, Genetics and Biotechnology for Health;,? Information Society Technologies;,? Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledgebased Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices;,? Aeronautics and Space;,? Food Quality and Safety;,? Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems; and,? Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. There is also a focus on the research activities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across all seven thematic areas. The services of FP6UK are provided by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) / Department of Trade & Industry (DTI). More information can be found on http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk NEST Programme ,The NEST programme in New and Emerging Science and Technology is for projects across a wide scope of science and technology that lie outside or cut across the seven priority thematic areas. NEST provides a means to anticipate scientific and technological opportunities and needs in new and emerging areas. NEST has a budget of 235M and the next deadline for applications is 15th September 2004.

Countries

Germany, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, United Kingdom