In the September issue of the Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, now available online, David Shteinman, the Industry Projects Manager of MASCOS (ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems), based at UNSW, describes the unique nature of MASCOS academic/industry collaborations that have led to fourteen projects to date. Each project combines commercial and research value. The article describes three of those projects in traffic flow modelling, micro-simulation and prediction of geo-mechanical effects of coal mining. The MASCOS examples, combined with some famous examples from the history of mathematics and statistics, show that applied research on industrial or "real world" problems can lead to first- rate research outcomes and theoretical advances, as well as commercial benefits to an industry client.
In addition to these successes, there have also been some barriers to further success. These are identified as originating in some cultural attitudes within the mathematics community, rather than outside of it.