Using Operations Research to Enhance Pandemic Response Strategies: Chile Awarded the 2022 INFORMS Edelman Award

BALTIMORE, MD, April 4, 2022 – INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, 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 Ingeniería (ISCI) and telecom company Entel to develop innovative methodologies and tools that placed O.R. 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 program. 

“These innovations have been used in key decision aspects that helped with the three pillars of the Chilean strategy against the virus: contagion prevention, centralized management of critical beds and vaccination,” said Paula Daza, former undersecretary of public health. “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,” added Andrés Couve, former Minister of Science. Leonardo Basso, ISCI director and professor at Universidad de Chile added, “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.”

Begoña Yarza, current Minister of Health, says, “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.” Finally, Antonio Moreno, managing director of Entel Ocean, emphasized “how fruitful the joint work of academia, government and a private sector willing to innovate was, and may be in the future.”

First awarded in 1972, the Franz Edelman Award recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions of analytics and O.R. in the for- and nonprofit sectors around the globe. Each year, INFORMS honors finalist teams that have improved organizational 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.

Chile received the Edelman Award this evening at the Edelman Gala, a highlight of the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference in Houston, TX.

Franz Edelman Award Finalists

In addition to Chile, five other organizations 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 Optimization at General Motors”
  • Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) 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 “Optimization and Routing for the 2020 Decennial Census” 

Additional information about the 2022 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award finalists and competition can be found at:



INFORMS advances and promotes the science and technology of decision-making to save lives, save money and solve problems. As the largest association for the decision and data sciences, INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results. INFORMS’ 10,000+ members are comprised of a diverse and robust international community of practitioners, researchers, educators and students from a variety of fields. 





Ashley Smith


Using Operations Research to Enhance Pandemic Response Strategies: Chile Awarded the 2022 INFORMS Edelman Award

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