Institute for Mathematical Innovation

Driving socio-economic development


From Silicon Valley to the proposed 'Northern Powerhouse' and beyond.

Silicon ValleySocial and economic development often involves self-reinforcing processes. An iconic example of this is Silicon Valley in the US.

In the United Kingdom, the government is seeking to create a similar socio-economic cluster known as the 'Northern Powerhouse' by promoting a self-sustaining process of transformation.

Using models of co-evolving systems to understand these social and economic dynamics, this research project seeks to identify how policy makers can                                                                             intervene to further socio-economic development, and aims to provide tools for evaluating policy interventions.  

This research is led by a multi-disciplinary team of mathematicians and social scientists at the University of Bath: Professor Graham Room, Professor Alastair Spence, Dr Evangelos Evangelou and Dr Paolo Zeppini. Other colleagues will join the research team as new empirical case studies are undertaken.

Using maths to better understand co-evolving networked systems and innovation

Drawing on an array of expertise, the team will develop a novel approach to improve our understanding of co-evolving networked systems: modelled in mathematically precise terms and applied to empirical data sets. The research group will explore how such mathematical models can illuminate processes of cumulative innovation within different institutional settings in the social world. To test competing theoretical accounts the project will also develop statistical methods that can be used to investigate empirical data.

Delivering a toolset for evaluating policy interventions and private initiatives

By studying how policy makers can intervene in complex social and economic dynamics, the research aims to provide tools for evaluating policy interventions. A series of empirical case studies will be used to develop and subsequently test the toolset.

The research project will focus on public policies aimed at enhancing the self-reinforcing dynamics of social and economic development. However, the research will also seek to understand the role of corporations and other actors, as they intervene in these socio-economic transformations.

 >> Read more about the research project