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Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MINOA (Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31

Building upon the achievements of the Marie-Curie ITN Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimization (MINO) (2012 - 2016), the goal of the project Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications (MINOA) is to train the next generation of highly qualified researchers and managers in applied mathematics, operations research and computer science that are able to face the modern imperative challenges of European and international relevance in areas such as energy, logistics, engineering, natural sciences, and data analytics. Twelve Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be trained through an innovative training programme based on individual research projects motivated by these applications that due to their high complexity will stimulate new developments in the field. The mathematical challenges can neither be met by using a single optimisation method alone, nor isolated by single academic partners. Instead, MINOA aims at building bridges between different mathematical methodologies and at creating novel and effective algorithmic enhancements. As special challenges, the ESRs will work on dynamic aspects and optimisation in real time, optimisation under uncertainty, multilevel optimization and non-commutativity in quantum computing. The ESRs will devise new effective algorithms and computer implementations. They will validate their methods for the applications with respect to metrics that they will define. All ESRs will derive recommendations, both for optimised MINO applications and for the effectiveness of the novel methodologies. These ESRs belong to a new generation of highly-skilled researchers that will strengthen Europe'e human capital base in R&I in the fast growing field of mathematical optimisation. The ESR projects will be pursued in joint supervision between experienced practitioners from leading European industries and leading optimisation experts, covering a wide range of scientific fields (from mathematics to quantum computing and real-world applications).
"In the first period, we achieved our most important milestone and hired 12 ESRs. Furthermore, we hired a 13th ESR as a ""short-term-ESR"".
Regarding dissemination activities, we established a logo for our project, flyers which we are still distributing, a roll-up, a homepage and a twitter account. Our research in the subprojects is going smoothly: The three steps ""Modeling"", ""Developing Algorithms"" and ""Validating"" could already be tackled by all ESRs in their projects. All ESRs tackle applications in energy, logistics, natural sciences, engineering, and data analytics that address modern imparative challenges. Also, we as a consortium have visited over 60 conferences and have written 30 articles. Our training programe contributes to that: While our ESRs visit many courses (mathematically related but also language courses and complementary skill courses), we organised a very successful Summer School about ""MINLPs meeting Machine Learning"" where not only our ESRs but researchers from the entire world were attending.

To summarize it: In the first period, we created a training network for early-stage researches from which not only the ESRs but the entire consortium and, hopefully at the end of the project, the entire European Research Area benefit."
"The ESRs are on track on successfully completing their respective research projects. In particular, in the first period, the consortium participated in many conferences and we published over 30 research articles. We aim at tackling the boundaries of recent mathematical optimisation research and hope to extend these and to establish a new ""state of the art"" for mixed-integer non-linear optimisation.

In MINOA, innovative research is linked with international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral higher education: Our young researchers are trained towards strengthening Europe's human capital base in R&I with a new generation of very entrepreneurial and highly-skilled early career researchers. Since our collaborations do not only take place within the MINOA network, we strengthen the links between the MINOA project and the European Higher Education Area, notably through supporting the knowledge triangle between research, innovation and education.
One of our impacts is also to structure and to strengthen the MINOA training capacity at the European level, by reinforcing the (several) existing long term collaborations and establishing new ones, not only between the senior partners but especially at the ESR level. Furthermore, the MINOA network aims at providing a Europe- (and hopefully world-) wide example of successful graduate training in both core and soft skills, thereby establishing good training practices at the ESR level."
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