Public Release: 

Innovation prize finalists announced in 'Science of Better'

INFORMS contest known for forecasting trends in business, government

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Hanover, MD, March 2, 2005 - The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) today announced six finalists in its competition to win the 2005 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The annual contest highlights innovations in organizations that are profit and non-profit, in the U.S. and across the world, and frequently identifies unfolding trends in business and government.

This is the 34th year of the prestigious competition, which has recognized techniques that have changed our technical and business landscape. These include dynamic pricing, which revolutionized pricing in the airlines and hospitality industries; Diagnostic Related Groups, which saved $50 billion in costs faced by the Medicare system in the 1980s; and new methods of conducting online product procurement auctions, managing the supply chain, and fighting AIDS.

Innovations at IBM, Motorola, GM, NBC, Mars, and Merrill Lynch, as well as the U.S. Army, the City of New Haven, and Texas Children's Hospital, have been spotlighted. The Edelman competition has recognized the use of operations research in significant cost savings, most recently $130 million at HP and $600 million at Motorola.

Operations Research, known as the "science of better," is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

The 2005 finalists will compete in Palm Springs for the Franz Edelman Award, which is presented by INFORMS and CPMS, the Practice Section of INFORMS. The Edelman competition takes place Monday, April 18. The winner will be announced Tuesday, April 19.

This year's finalists include

  • The Athens 2004 Olympic Committee (working with Athens University), which responded to the challenge of planning the Olympics by developing an advanced Operations Research- and systems dynamics-based tool. Because of the project's success, the tool is being considered for use by the 2008 Olympic Committee.
  • Eli Lilly¸ a leading pharmaceutical company, uniquely turned to math modeling in reviving ALIMTAÒ, an antifolate cancer-fighting drug.
  • General Motors, whose custom throughput analysis models of GM production lines saved hundreds of millions of dollars in over 30 GM plants and 10 countries.
  • Nanzan Educational Complex (working with its parent Nanzan University in Japan), which developed an educational planning system that operates at every level from the strategic down to the daily operational.
  • Procter & Gamble (working with CombineNet Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University), which was presented with a potential $262 million in savings from a next-generation procurement process developed for the Fortune 500 company.
  • Swift & Co. (working with Aspen Technology), which created a scheduling and capable-to-promise application to improve operations at the food giant.

    The Edelman Award recognizes outstanding implemented operations research that has had a significant, positive impact on the performance of a client organization. The top finalist receives a $10,000 first prize.

    Last year, Motorola and Emptoris were recognized for achieving increased productivity and reduced costs at the electronics manufacturer. Previous winners include Continental Airlines, Canadian Pacific Railroad, and Sabre Decision Technologies.

    The competition is being held at an INFORMS conference, "Applying Science to the Art of Business," which takes place at The Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs, California from April 17-19. Information about the conference is online at

    The finalist papers will be published in the January, 2006 issue of the INFORMS publication Interfaces. Recent Edelman finalists can be viewed at


    The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications. The INFORMS website is More information about operations research is at

  • Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.