The London Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a private academic institute for curiosity-driven research in physics, mathematics and the theoretical sciences. Funded by research agencies, foundations and firms, it gives scientists the freedom and support to make fundamental discoveries full-time.
In 2018, the London Institute was designated an Independent Research Organization, becoming Britain’s first private research centre in the physical sciences to compete with universities for Research Council funding.
We are supported by research grants from the EU’s Horizon 2020, the European Innovation Council, DARPA, the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defence. We also receive funding from the City of Westminster, British foundations and global firms in strategy, technology and energy.
The London Institute supports basic research in the mathematical sciences. At a time when science is increasingly driven by demand for short-term impact, the Institute plays a unique role in safeguarding curiosity-driven research, which has, time and again, led to the most far-reaching breakthroughs.
The Institute does not teach or award degrees. It is a rare place where scientists can dedicate themselves full-time to unlocking the secrets of the universe and our role within it. This enables them to make more foundational discoveries: a virtuous circle that attracts further investment.
We seek new insights not merely because they are useful, but in order to enrich the world of ideas, which has a beauty of its own. The motto of the Institute is “truth, beauty”. This reflects the observation that the most beautiful discoveries tend to be the most enduring. We steer clear of research fads and are wary of unchecked open-access publishers.
The London Institute promotes collegiality in order to exceed the sum of its parts. Its scientists make themselves aware of each other’s research so they can help frame, carry out and communicate it. They support the success of their colleagues as well as of the Institute as a whole.
Alongside its scientists, the Institute employs staff drawn from design, journalism, strategy and finance. They play a central role in funding, communicating and applying the Institute’s discoveries. We work as hard to recruit talented support staff as we do to recruit our scientists.
How scientific stories are told and visualized plays a decisive role in the uptake of discoveries. With the help of our staff, we publish papers that not only inform but inspire. We publicize our discoveries as well as publish them so that others are aware of our work and can build on it.
The London Institute does not receive student fees or government subsidies. Instead, it covers its costs entirely through grants, donations and corporate sponsorship. To justify this investment, we must maintain a competitive advantage in how we organize research.
To achieve financial security, we have developed a science of funding science. We stay abreast of the full range of funding agencies around the world, their interests and their odds. We share funding opportunities and contribute to each other’s grant applications in order to submit stronger proposals faster.
Technological innovation is speeding up, but slow funding cycles are causing basic science to fall behind. We approach discovery with a sense of urgency often lacking in academic research. We work to minimize the time from curiosity to commission and are on the lookout for faster ways to fund bold ideas.
The London Institute suspends the distinction between pure and applied research. Many of our projects bear directly on technology and organizations, and we embrace collaborations with firms looking to apply our insights. Our strong ties with business also help us learn from experienced business leaders and maintain market efficiencies.
We regularly collaborate with the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defence, which accounts for a third of our income. Our defence-savvy board includes the former Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Defence and the former Government Chief Scientific Adviser. We welcome working with defence agencies to enhance national security.
The Institute does not lay claim to its scientists’ IP. For those researchers who foresee an application fit for market, the Institute’s technology incubator, LIMS Ventures, can provide the work space and skills needed to launch their product. Because the researchers and incubator are under one roof, we can quickly turn today’s discoveries into tomorrow’s business.