First Class Honours, Biarri and NBN Co.

Biarri is one of six global finalists for the prestigious INFORMS Franz Edelman Prize for Achievement in Operations Research

Biarri is selected as one of the world’s best analytics teams

Biarri and NBN Co have been selected as one of six global finalists for the prestigious Franz Edelman Award. The Prize is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in applying advanced analytics to benefit business and humanitarian outcomes. Biarri and NBN Co have been selected for developing a unique mathematical approach for designing broadband networks. Now in its 43rd year, the INFORMS Franz Edelman Prize competition recognises outstanding examples of analytics and operations research projects that transform companies, entire industries and people’s lives. Using innovative advanced analytical methods, the teams were instrumental in helping their respective institutions make better decisions, providing a disciplined way by which management can improve organisational performance in a wide variety of situations and across both public and private organisations.

Edelman Prize Selection Criteria

INFORMS Franz Edelman finalist teams have contributed over $200 billion in benefits to business and the public interest. The 2014 INFORMS Franz Edelman Prize finalists were chosen after a rigorous review by accomplished verifiers, all of whom have led successful analytics projects. The verifiers come from IBM, BNSF, Bank of America, Verizon Wireless, HP, Eastman Chemical, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, the University of Chile, and other noted organisations. Finalists are chosen on the merits of how analytics methodologies were applied to solve problems, reduce costs, or otherwise improve results in real-world environments. The 2014 Edelman Prize winner will be announced at the Edelman Gala on March 31 during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Boston.

Biarri and NBN Co are only the second finalists ever from Australia, Joe Forbes, co-founder of Biarri states, “We are excited and honoured to be selected as an Edelman finalist. We are very proud of the work we are doing with NBN Co on the broadband network and the contribution we can make to such an important national infrastructure project. As an Australian technology start-up it is great to be recognised one a global stage with some of the most prominent companies and institutions in the world.”

NBN Co and Biarri worked together to develop software (FOND) with an algorithmic engine that can quickly generate low cost broadband network designs. The mathematics allows NBN Co to design optimised (lowest cost) networks for any given network strategy or architecture (FFTH, FFTN, hybrid, etc). The mathematics has allowed NBN Co to reduce design effort by 80%. The technology allows NBN Co and its partners to design the optimal network for the Government’s current broadband strategy. Paul Kennedy, CEO of Biarri Networks states, “There is a real satisfaction in working with NBN Co to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before, and delivering real benefit to this massive project”.

This international recognition of NBN Co and Biarri is a testament to Australia’s leadership in Technology and Innovation. Biarri is now deploying FOND to Chorus in NZ for the design of the UFB (Ultra Fast Broadband Network) and is conducting pilot projects for broadband networks throughout North America and Asia.

The winner for 2014 Edelman Award will be announced at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & O.R., Boston, MA on Monday 31 March 2014. Also, each year the finalist organisations are inducted as members of the Franz Edelman Academy. Members of the Academy, inducted each year at the Edelman Gala, include the primary client organisation (NBN Co) along with the mathematical organisation (Biarri).

2014 Edelman Finalists

  1. Twitter, with Stanford University, for “The ‘Who to Follow’ System at Twitter: Strategy, Algorithms, and Revenue Impact.”
  2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with Kid Risk, Inc., for “Using Integrated Analytical Models to Support Global Health Policies to Manage Vaccine Preventable Diseases: Polio Eradication and Beyond.”
  3. The Energy Authority for “Hydroelectric Generation and Water Routing Optimizer.”
  4. Grady Memorial Hospital, with the Georgia Institute of Technology, for “Modeling and Optimising Emergency Department Workflow.”
  5. Kidney Exchange at the Alliance for Paired Donation, with Stanford and Mitford “Kidney Exchange.”
  6. NBN Company, with Biarri, for “Fibre Optic Network Optimization at NBN Co.”

About NBN Co

NBN Co is a Government Business Enterprise whose aim is to assist the Australian Government in ensuring Australians have access to the most appropriate high-speed broadband technology. Biarri ( and is an Australian commercial mathematics and technology business. It was founded in 2009 to provide accessible optimisation to improve business efficiency. Some of Biarri’s other customers include Schweppes, Boral, Rio Tinto, Aurizon and Chorus NZ.


The Edelman Award is presented by The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS – INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics.

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