BAMConf 2014 - Maths Everywhere

Biarri Applied Mathematics 2014

Biarri will hold its 2nd Biarri Applied Mathematics (BAM) Conference at RMIT, Melbourne, over two days from the 25th to the 26th November. The BAM Conference is a free event being co-hosted with RMIT and supported by Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). The theme of this year’s event is “Maths Everywhere”, with speakers from a wide range of disciplines and organizations highlighting the breadth of places where the mathematical sciences are making a difference.

Biarri’s CTO and conference co-chair Andrew Grenfell, says “We are excited to be co-hosting the event again this year. It is a great opportunity to highlight the crucial role that mathematics plays in the real world and to demonstrate the diverse career paths that mathematics can offer.” This year’s presenters will cover a range of topics from the burgeoning analytics sphere to bioinformatics, telecommunication network design, disaster modelling, nature conservation, sport and finance. The event promises to showcase mathematical tools and techniques used to solve problems in the real world, through case studies and in-depth talks.

The recent release of the Chief Scientist’s report ‘Australia 2025: Smart Science – Mathematics’ highlighted the positive impact Mathematics can have in creating new and better Australian industries. The report noted the powerful role Mathematics can play in societies obsessed with progress and aspiring to greater technological sophistication. However, concerns remain over mathematics and science education in Australia, particularly declining school and university enrolments, and Australia’s declining attainment relative to other countries. “We need to address the decline in the number of students completing later year university level mathematics studies as this has the potential to reduce Australia’s future capacity for innovation and international competitiveness. It is important that companies like ours take an active role in building greater links between mathematics and business, fostering emerging talent and helping to promote mathematics as an exciting career option “, Grenfell said.

Biarri Applied Mathematics (BAM) conference will be at RMIT, Melbourne, over two days from the 25th to the 26th November. BamConf 2014 is a free event being co-hosted with RMIT and supported by Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI).

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Meat Processing Optimisation

Applying Mathematics to Meat Processing

Biarri has developed unique cloud-based meat processing software that has been released in Australia for use by companies within the meat industry to optimise production, reduce waste and boost revenue.

One of the world’s largest processors and exporters of lamb and mutton, Alliance Group, approached Biarri in 2013 to develop a new meat processing technology for exclusive use by the group to boost business operations in New Zealand.

The technology was able to help Alliance make significant savings in operating costs by using a software model to maximise their products and revenue yields. The technology has been customised for use within the Australian meat processing industry and can be modified to accommodate a diverse range of requirements including both Beef and Lamb.

The software uses highly complex mathematical algorithms to improve decision making. The software enables meat processors to make important operational decisions quickly, ensuring all critical variables are considered for each production run. Using data and quantitative analysis removes ambiguity and improves speed and accuracy.

Despite its importance, key operational decision making is often based on gut-feel and subjectivity. The Meat Processing Optimiser (MPO) software determines the best cut strategy that maximises carcass yield according to the meat processors inputs and the highly efficient algorithms do the work in seconds; ensuring operational decisions are consistent and optimised every time. Decisions are more likely to be correct and the process has more rigor due to the application of the scientific method.

The Meat industry has in recent times faced very challenging operating conditions. An anticipated reduction of available livestock for slaughtering due to drought, rebuilding the national herd and the continued build-up of the live trade, will negatively impact profits and result in a tightening of budgets. Biarri believe their new technology can help boost the bottom line for processors regardless of production volumes or revenues and thereby contribute to the competitiveness of the whole value chain.

Tom Forbes, Biarri CEO said, “We are excited to offer our unique technology to the Australian market, and are confident, after seeing Alliance Group’s results, that the MPO will benefit operators by reducing costs and increasing revenue within the Australian meat processing industry.”

“Biarri is an IT company committed to unlocking the power of mathematics for all businesses to benefit operations. While the meat processing industry is not generally associated with business analytics, quantitative models and optimisation tools, the MPO is set to change operational decision making within the industry.”

“Meat processing in Australia is big business, with Australian’s consuming on average 46.5 kilograms of red meat each year, we decided there was definitely a requirement to develop a specific technology to streamline processes within the meat processing industry to maximise yields, boost revenue and reduce waste wherever possible.”

Head over to the Meat Processing Optimiser page for more information

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.

Biarri Applied Mathematics conference a success!

The first Biarri Applied Mathematics conference, or BAM, was hosted by the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Queensland on Monday (Feb 22). The conference was a big success, with around 65 people attending, including industry representatives, academics and students.

Dr Simon Dunstall from CSIRO won the prize for the best talk of the day, however all the talks (given by Operations Research practioners from both Biarri and from industry) were informative and interesting and generated discussion and questions. In particular it seemed that Network Flow techniques were very much alive and well, as they came up in several different modelling contexts throughout the day.

Biarri once again thanks those who attended as well as those behind the scenes who helped make the event a success.