The International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh and the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) in Cambridge exist to nurture the development and application of mathematics in the broadest sense. They are the UK members of the umbrella organisation ERCOM (European Research Centres on Mathematics) and have significant records in attracting the very best mathematicians and scientists from all over the world and in initiating collaborations between them. The operations of the two institutes are distinct and complementary.
The INI organises typically five major scientific programmes a year, of one to six months in length, which are planned about two years in advance. These attract over 1000 visitors, some of whom stay for several months. Associated workshops focus on specific themes within these programmes. Most workshops are out-of-term, so that student accommodation in Cambridge can be used. Satellite Workshops in the UK outside Cambridge are encouraged as a way to involve the wider UK research community. Follow-up workshops to past programmes are also supported.
The core programme of the ICMS is made up of workshops and instructional courses lasting from a few days to two weeks, with over 500 visitors in an average year. ICMS can react quickly to developments. Even in term-time, accommodation can be found for visitors: in part because Edinburgh is a large city by comparison with Cambridge. Most ICMS meetings are held at its headquarters in 15 South College Street.
INI receives a grant from EPSRC and support from the University of Cambridge and other sources and the Director holds an endowed chair linked to the post. ICMS operates on a smaller scale, with support from EPSRC, SFC, and Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities.
INI will continue to focus on a small number of long research programmes, with associated workshops and other events as described above. It will support stand-alone workshops only to meet the requirements of funders other than EPSRC.
ICMS will continue to run frequent high level scientific workshops, conferences and instructional meetings and will seek to react quickly to new developments. It will organise a number of small meetings each year to explore emergent topics in mathematics and applications, including technology transfer activities.
Both Institutes will actively foster the public understanding of the mathematical sciences through outreach activities, printed material and use of the web.
INI and ICMS manage their programmes separately but collaborate in their development. They have distinct Scientific Committees, but with overlapping membership. Each Scientific Director is an ex officio member of the other's scientific planning committee, and particular proposals may be referred by one to the other.