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.

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