2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Gobierno de Chile

This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics.

For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5.

Joining me for this episode are Andrés Couve, the Chilean Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Leonardo Basso, Professor with the Universidad de Chile in the Civil Engineering Department and Director of the Complex Engineering Systems Institute, to discuss the finalist entry from the team representing the country of Chile.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Chilean Ministries of Health and Sciences partnered with the Complex Engineering Systems Institute 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 innovations have been used in key decisions that helped shape the strategy against the virus, including tools that 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 the active search of asymptomatic cases based on anonymized mobility data; and implemented a nationwide serology surveillance program that greatly influenced Chile’s decision regarding booster doses and provided valuable insight to the rest of the world.

What I think became really clear with COVID-19 was that it was not only a health issue, it was a biological crisis, and a biological crisis needed a different approach to tackle it. So it was not just, for example, the Ministry of Health, it was also the Ministry of Interior, it was also the Ministry of Science, it was also the Ministry of Economy. And so it really required that research institutions, private institutions, companies, industry and the public sector really joined forces to tackle it from the very beginning because it became very clear that the impact was in many different areas of our daily living.

Interviewed this episode:

Andrés Couve, Leonardo Basso

Chilean Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation; Universidad de Chile and Complex Engineering Systems Institute

Andrés Couve is the Chilean Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation. He is a biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Doctor in Cell Biology from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. After obtaining a post-doctorate in Neuroscience from University College London (UCL), he returned to Chile in 2005, to join the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile as Full Professor. His research in neuroscience has been published in more than 40 international journals.

In 2011, he led the creation of the Millennium Institute of Biomedical Neuroscience (BNI) of which he was director. BNI explores brain structure and function using biology, mathematics, engineering, and the clinic. The Institute is recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of its scientific research, and for its innovation and scientific education programs.

Andrés Couve was President of the Cellular Biology Society of Chile and has actively participated in instances that promote scientific policies. In addition, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Puerto de Ideas Foundation, of the Sofofa Innovation working group, and has placed the objective of bringing science and its values ​​closer to society at the center of scientific work.

Leonardo Basso is a Full Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering. He received his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering (1999) and his Master degree in Transportation Engineering (2001) from Universidad de Chile. He obtained his PhD from the Sauder School of Business, The University of British Columbia, Canada (2006).

Leo Basso’s main areas of research are transport economics, with particular interests on air and urban transport, and industrial economics and antirust. Recently he also started working on urban economics and the importance of public transport on urban structure, on the use of Automatic Vehicle Identification data for real-time crash prediction using machine learning techniques and on several initiatives to help overcome the COVID crisis.

He was the chair of the Scientific Committee of ITEA (International Transport Economics Association). He teaches Microeconomics (IN2201) and Competition and Regulation in Transport Markets (CI5310). He is the Director of the ANID Center of Excellence Instituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingeniería (ISCI). He is a member of the University Senate for the period 2018-2022.