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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was named the winner of the 2021 Franz Edelman Award on 13 April. This prestigious award recognises analytics and operations research work that has a meaningful global impact. UvA professor Dick den Hertog (UvA EB Professor of Operations Research) is a member of the WFP team.

In collaboration with the Zero Hunger Lab (Tilburg University), professor Den Hertog was instrumental in developing the mathematical models used for creating the analytics tool ‘Optimus’. This tool is used to improve the supply chain to provide efficient food delivery to crisis areas such as Yemen, Syria and South Sudan. Analytics and data science played a crucial role in enabling the WFP in carrying out extremely complex humanitarian operations. The programme assisted nearly 100 million people across 88 countries this past year. The video below explains how the WFP uses Optimus.

In life and death situations, an optimised supply chain can make an enormous difference. Scott Price, member of WFP Board of Directors (USA)

About the Franz Edelman Award

The Franz Edelman Award recognises and rewards outstanding example of operations research, management science, and advanced analytics. The award is presented by the organisation INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), the word’s largest professional association in this field.