Tue, August 10, 2021


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The OR Society launches Grand Challenge to help find climate change solutions

Hot on the heels of recent wildfires and the UN scientific study which revealed that human activity has changed the climate in an unprecedented manner, The Operational Research Society has launched this year’s “Grand Challenge” and invited specialists from around the world to join them to develop new solutions for climate change.

The Grand Challenge, which takes place every year at the society’s annual conference, brings together operational researchers, data analysts, academics, and professionals to solve a dilemma that a client is facing with the scientific problem-solving methods of operational research.  

This year the challenge will ask participants how operational research can help the transition to a net-zero carbon future. Working with Dr Ana Paula Fonseca, Lecturer in Strategy and Sustainability at Edinburgh Napier University, the audience will help to plan a road map to decarbonisation. Participants will be asked to share ideas of how operational research can support analytics to improve resource efficiency, work with smart cities and much more.

With the UK needing to slash emissions by 78% for 2035 and with the world at large on the verge of a climate emergency, there has never been a more important time to help support climate change solution development.

The ideas gathered by participants at the Grand Challenge will then be considered for future university student or pro bono projects, or for research, consultancy and funding bids. The conference will take place on 14-16 September 2021 and will be hosted online.

Gavin Blackett, Executive director of The OR Society, said: “We hope this year more than ever, the operational research community will rally together to help develop solutions to the climate emergency. The Grand Challenge will also pose two additional questions that look at the UN’s sustainable development goals from the perspective of health and industry. Our annual conference offers over 250 speakers, delivering a unique balance between academic research and industrial applications.”

For more information about how to attend the Grand Challenge at The OR Society’s annual conference, OR63, please visit the website here: theorsociety.com/grandchallenge