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16 April 2022

Chilean Government wins 2022 Franz Edelman Award

Tag(s): Foreign Affairs, Politics & Economics
I must confess that I had not heard of the Franz Edelman Award, but our Chilean friends are very excited that the Chilean Government has won this year’s Award. The award is presented annually by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The international competition pits six teams from industry, government, healthcare, and the non-profit sectors. The competition takes place at the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference and concludes with the announcement of the winner at a gala dinner at the conference. It began in 1971 as the TIMS Prize and was named for Franz Edelman, the operations research director of RCA, shortly after his death in 1982. It carries a cash award of $10,000.

INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, has announced it has awarded Chile its 2022 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science for its use of operations research (O.R.) to improve response strategies to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Chilean Ministries of Health and Sciences partnered with the Instituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingenieri´a (ISCI) and telecom company Entel to develop innovative methodologies and tools that placed Operations Research and analytics at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic. These tools shed light on the actual effects of lockdowns in different municipalities and over time; helped allocate limited intensive care capacity; allowed multiplying the testing capacity; provided on-the-ground strategies for active search of asymptomatic cases based on anonymized mobility data; and implemented a nationwide serology surveillance programme.

Paula Daza, former undersecretary of public health was quoted as saying "These innovations have been used in key decision aspects that helped with the three pillars of the Chilean strategy against the virus: contagion prevention, centralised management of critical beds and vaccination.” Andrés Couve, former Minister of Science added “ It also shows the importance of investing in science, innovation and technology, and that a small and far away country can produce world-class, world-changing science,"  Leonardo Basso, ISCI director and professor at Universidad de Chile said, "Our cutting-edge analytics developments were deployed on the ground, involving the work of hundreds of people, from scientists to healthcare workers, and saved – in a conservative estimate – more than 2,800 lives."

The current Minister of Health Begoña Yarza said, "We are very proud that this work in Chile has received this prestigious award. Our administration is just starting, and we are enthusiastic to continue collaborating and using analytics to support decision-making in other public health challenges." But this statement is somewhat ingenuous as the Award has not been made to her Socialist government but to the government of the conservative Sebastian Piñera, an outstanding businessman who used his qualities of management and administration to achieve this fine result.  Finally, Antonio Moreno, managing director of Entel Ocean, emphasised "how fruitful the joint work of academia, government and a private sector willing to innovate was, and may be in the future."

The Franz Edelman Award recognises and rewards outstanding contributions of analytics and O.R. in the for- and nonprofit sectors around the globe. Each year, INFORMS honours finalist teams that have improved organisational efficiency, increased profits, brought better products to consumers, helped foster peace negotiation and saved lives. Since its inception, the cumulative dollar benefits from Edelman finalist projects have surpassed $363 billion.

In addition to Chile, five other organisations were finalists for this year's Franz Edelman Award:
  • Alibaba for "Integrated Forecast, Inventory, Price Optimization and Recommendation Has Reduced Millions in Inventory and Shrinkage Cost and Sustained Revenue Increase for Alibaba Retail Businesses"
  • General Motors for "Vehicle Content Optimisation at General Motors"
  • Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson for "Data-driven COVID-19 Vaccine Development for Janssen"
  • Merck Animal Health for "Operations Research Improves Biomanufacturing Efficiency at MSD Animal Health"
  • U.S. Census Bureau for "Optimisation and Routing for the 2020 Decennial Census"
When we look at a list of recent winners, we see that the great majority are US based. To my mind that increases the achievement of the Chilean Government.

2021: United Nations World Food Programme: Towards Zero Hunger with Analytics
2020: Intel: Intel Realises $25 Billion by Applying Advanced Analytics from Product Architecture Design Through Supply Chain Planning
2019: Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District: Analytics and Optimisation Reduce Sewage Overflows to Protect Community Waterways in Kentucky
2018: FCC : Unlocking the Beachfront: Using O.R. to Repurpose Wireless Spectrum
2017: Holiday Retirement and Prorize: Revenue Management Provides Double-digit Revenue Lift for Holiday Retirement
2016: United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS On Road Integrated Optimisation and Navigation (Orion) Project
2015: Syngenta: Advanced Analytics for Agricultural Product Development
2014: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Polio Eradicators Use Integrated Analytical Models to Make Better Decisions
2013: Delta Commissioner of the Netherlands: Economically Efficient Flood Standards to Protect the Netherlands against Flooding
2012: TNT Express: Supply Chain-Wide Optimisation at TNT Express
2011: MISO: Operations Research Ramps Up the Power Market in the Midwest
2010: INDEVAL: application of operations research and analytics to speedily processing complex securities transactions.
2009: Hewlett-Packard: HP Transforms Product Portfolio Management with Operations Research
2008: Netherlands Railways: The New Dutch Timetable—the OR Revolution
2007: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Operations Research Answers to Cancer Therapeutics
2006: Warner Robins Air Logistics Center: Streamlining Aircraft Repair and Overhaul at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center
2005: General Motors: General Motors Increases Its Production Throughput
2004: Motorola Inc: Reinventing the Supplier Negotiation Process at Motorola
2003: Canadian Pacific Railway : Perfecting the Scheduled Railroad-Model-Driven Operating Plan Development
2002: Continental Airlines: A New Era for Crew Recovery at Continental Airlines
2001: Merrill Lynch, Inc: Pricing Analysis for Merrill Lynch Integrated Choice
2000: Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.: Flexible Planning and Technology Management at Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc

Needless to say none of the incompetent British governments were considered for this Award.



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