SEIO-Fundación BBVA Awards
2022 Edition

SEIO-FBBVA Awards 2022

More information at SEIO-FBBVA 2022

Award: Methodological contribution in Statistics


This is a novel and significant contribution to statistical theory and methods. It targets the important field of functional data analysis, which has had increasingly broad applications in modern data science. The work is published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, widely regarded as a top journal in statistical methodology. A Python package is made available by the authors, making their methodology widely available for implementation.

Award: Methodological contribution in Operational Research

REVISITING K-SUM OPTIMIZATION. J. Puerto, A. M. Rodríguez-Chía, A. Tamir

The authors have developed a new methodology for optimization of k-sum objective functions in great generality by solving a polynomial number of minisum problems. Their approach allows researchers to obtain new algorithms and complexity results for a number of problems. In addition, the authors were able to prove a longstanding conjecture. Their paper has been published in one of the most prestigious journals in the area of methodological operations research.

Award: Applied contribution in Statistics


This paper provides a significant improvement in accurate and reliable forecasts of electricity load. It addresses time-varying consumption patterns and uncertainty in load demands. Load forecasting is arguably becoming more important with climate change. The proposed method considerably improves performance in comparison with existing techniques. The method has been made available through MatLab and Python.

Award: Applied contribution in Operational Research


This work is motivated by a real world issue, namely a complex network design problem arising in the distribution of drinking water in remote mountainous areas. The problem is new and highly relevant to reconstruction programs in the aftermath of a disaster. The problem defines water taps to be used, as well as the pipeline distribution network. The main scientific contribution is the introduction, modeling, and solving of the complex network structure. The approach is applied to the large scale problem of the Nepal earthquakes. 


Award: Best contribution in Statistics and Operational Research applied to Data Science and Big Data


The book “Bayesian inference with INLA” is a complete introduction, both theoretical and practical, to this method that exists since 2009. The author has been at the forefront of the development and application of INLA method since then, especially in the field of spatial statistics. The method essentially opens up the field of Bayesian inference to a wider set of problems as well as much larger data sets than existing methods. It includes applications to a wide variety of statistical models as well as the R-code for applying the methods in practice. All in all, this book is an impressive contribution to the field of data science.



The Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research (SEIO) and the BBVA Foundation are pleased to announce the 2022 Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research – BBVA Foundation Awards for particularly significant scientific contributions in statistics and operations research.

The awards made under this call, to be bestowed annually at national level, recognize originality, innovation and contributions in Statistics and Operations Research, with the dual aim of encouraging research work in these two fields and its projection to society.

Organizing institutions

The Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research is a non-profit organization whose purposes include the advancement of statistics and operations research in Spain through the promotion of research, its transmission to society, and the improvement of education at all levels. Its main goals are to disseminate the quality and progress of statistics and operations research, to promote the teaching and learning of these subjects, to convey their importance to today’s society, and to be a reference in all matters pertaining to science and technology.

The BBVA Foundation is an expression of the BBVA Group’s engagement with the promotion of knowledge and innovation. Its activity centers on support for scientific research (through research projects, grants and collaboration with scientific institutions), the recognition of talent through families of awards organized alone or in conjunction with scientific societies, and the wider dissemination of knowledge and culture, which it understands as the most effective means to expand our individual and collective choices. Its diverse programs, run directly or in partnership with leading institutions and organizations, are focused primarily on the areas of Basic Sciences, Biology and Biomedicine, Ecology and Climate Change, Statistics and Artificial Intelligence, Information and Communication Technologies, Economics and Social Sciences, Humanities, Music, Video Art and the Plastic Arts.

A maximum of five awards will be granted under this call, each for a gross amount of 6,000 euros, in recognition of pioneering and influential contributions to worldwide research in statistics and operations research. In the event that the award goes to a candidature made up of two or more people, its monetary amount will be divided equally between them.

The awards are directed at researchers in statistics and operations research of Spanish nationality, or those of other nationalities that have conducted their investigation in a university or scientific center in Spain. They may also go to persons of any nationality for contributions made in collaboration with one or more persons of Spanish nationality.

All the required documentation for the awards should be sent in electronic format to the email address of the SEIO Secretariat,, from March 21, 2022 until 14:00 (Spanish standard time) on May 5, 2022.

Once the submission period has expired and it has been established that the candidates meet the call conditions and have provided the required documentation in due time and form, they will be notified by email that the submission has been accepted and the documentation will be forwarded to the committee deciding the awards. If rectifiable errors are detected in the submission (or relative to letters of support), candidates will be given a non-extendible period of 10 calendar days in which to correct them, so their entries can be taken into consideration.

The awards in this call will be decided before July 15, 2022.

Article 1

Each award will go to the authors or co-authors of a specific contribution, and will comprise a diploma and a total cash prize of 6,000 euros, less the percentage deductible under current tax regulations. A maximum of one award will be given in each of the following categories:

Best methodological contribution in the Statistics field.
Best methodological contribution in the Operations Research field.
Best applied contribution with impact in the social arena, innovation or knowledge transfer in the Statistics field.
Best applied contribution with impact in the social arena, innovation or knowledge transfer in the Operations Research field.
Best contribution in Statistics and Operations Research applied to Data Science and Big Data.

Contributions will consist primarily of a scientific paper, which must have been published in the year 2017 or later. It will be sufficient for such papers to have been accepted and a DOI assigned at the moment of submission. Notwithstanding this preference, in the case of applied contributions particularly, they may take diverse forms on the condition that they represent a significant development in the disciplinary fields addressed by the awards.

Awardees will be required to take part in an award ceremony to be held in Madrid, and will be presented at the next SEIO conference with a special mention as having received a 2022 Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research – BBVA Foundation Award.

Article 2

Entries may be direct, submitted by the candidates themselves, or indirect, through letters of nomination submitted by one or several SEIO members or one or more experts invited by the BBVA Foundation, acting as nominators. For correspondence purposes, please provide the name of a single candidate or submission coordinator, who will also be the person signing the submission form.

All entries should be presented in English and include the following documents in electronic format:

Submission form completed and signed by the candidate (direct entries) or submission coordinator (indirect entries), downloadable from the awards website. This form includes:
A summary of the quality indicators of the contribution relative to the award for which it has been submitted (maximum 400 words)
A summary of the contribution (maximum 200 words)
Copy of the contribution submitted in the call.
A maximum of two letters of support, duly dated and signed, setting out the importance of the contribution submitted in the call, not the
achievements of the candidates themselves. In this case, the signatories of the letters should send them directly to the SEIO Secretariat (, with the name of the candidate or submission coordinator stated clearly in the subject line.

Article 3

The awards will be decided by a committee made up of three specialists appointed by the BBVA Foundation and a further three appointed by the SEIO’s academic councils. No member of the SEIO’s Executive Council or academic councils may serve on this committee.

The committee will distinguish a maximum of one contribution per category and will submit its decision for ratification to the SEIO Executive Council. In its ratification proposal, it will state the scientific relevance of the contributions selected. For each award to be granted, it will need to have the approval of a simple majority of SEIO Executive Council members, proceeding as specified in the SEIO statutes. Awards may be declared wholly or partially vacant.

Article 4

No person who has submitted, supported or in any manner recommended a candidature may serve on the committee. Any other situation of conflict of interest between committee members and candidates (family relationship, present or past PhD advisor or student, member of the same working group, present or past scientific collaboration in the last ten years, present or past member of the same research project in the last ten years, manifest enmity, or any other circumstance involving a conflict of interest) should be expressly declared in advance. In the event that some candidature is subject to a conflict of interest, the committee member affected may not take part in its evaluation. This same criterion will apply to the Executive Council members responsible for ratifying the awardees proposed by the committee.

In view of the above, having being apprised of the candidatures and before deliberations begin, committee members must notify the SEIO Executive Council and the BBVA Foundation of any possible incompatibility that might arise.

Article 5

The terms of current legislation on the protection of personal data will be complied with at all stages of this call.

The fact of participating in the call signifies the acceptance of its conditions and award decision, which will not be open to appeal, and renunciation of any claim in its respect of whatsoever nature.

No itemized or individual information will be provided on the submissions received or the deliberations of the committee or the SEIO Executive Council.

Any questions arising about the interpretation of these call conditions will be resolved upon by the SEIO Executive Council and the BBVA Foundation.

Exceptionally, the BBVA Foundation and SEIO reserve the right to make changes in the wording of these conditions, for duly justified reasons, for the sole purpose of clarifying their content, without such changes in any case implying a substantial or arbitrary alteration of the same. The text of these call conditions and corresponding FAQs, which you are advised to read, will be available for the duration of this call on the websites of the BBVA Foundation,, and SEIO,

The identity of the winning candidates will be published on the SEIO and BBVA Foundation websites, together with the membership of the committee and list of SEIO Executive Council members taking part in the corresponding deliberations.


SEIO-FBBVA Awards past editions

SEIO-FBBVA Awards 2021

Full information at SEIO-FBBVA 2021

Award: Methodological contribution in Statistics

Nonparametric incidence estimation and bootstrap bandwidth selection in mixture cure models. Ana López, Ricardo Cao Abad, María Amalia Jácome Pumar e Ingrid Van Keilegom

Por su trabajo que propone “un enfoque alternativo para crear modelos de supervivencia de pacientes de cáncer”, según resalta el acta del jurado, utilizando unas técnicas conocidas en estadística como análisis de supervivencia.

Award: Methodological contribution in Operational Research

Construct, merge, solve & adapt: a new general algorithm for combinatorial optimization. Christian Blum, Pedro Pinacho Davidson, Manuel López-Ibáñez y José A. Lozano.

Por su trabajo (Construir, fusionar, resolver y adaptar: un nuevo algoritmo general para la optimización combinatoria), publicado en Computers & Operations Research.

Award: Applied contribution in Statistics

Crime against women in India: unveiling spatial patterns and temporal trends of dowry deaths in the districts of Uttar Pradesh. María Dolores Ugarte, Gonzalo Vicente, Tomás Goicoa y Paloma Fernández Rasines

Por su trabajo, publicado en Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society), que, señala el acta del jurado, es “un estudio innovador que, mediante métodos estadísticos, proporciona una mejor comprensión de lo que la Organización Mundial de la Salud considera un problema social de proporciones epidémicas, con aspectos particularmente complejos en la India”.

Award: Applied contribution in Operational Research

Solving a large cutting problem in the glass manufacturing industry. Francisco Parreño Torres, María Teresa Alonso Martínez y Ramón Álvarez-Valdés Olaguíbel.

Con la  investigación premiada, publicada en European Journal of Operational Research, Francisco Parreño Torres y María Teresa Alonso Martínez (ambos de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha) y Ramón Álvarez-Valdés Olaguíbel (Universidad de Valencia) respondieron a un reto internacional planteado por Saint-Gobain Glass Francia en el que participaron más de 60 equipos de todo el mundo.

Award: Best contribution in Statistics and Operational Research applied to Data Science and Big Data

Clustering time series by linear dependency. Andrés M. Alonso Fernández y Daniel Peña Sánchez de Rivera

Andrés M. Alonso Fernández y Daniel Peña Sánchez de Rivera (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) han desarrollado un método que, por primera vez, permite clasificar series temporales de datos por su dependencia. Esta “metodología innovadora”, en palabras del jurado, ha sido publicada en Statistics and Computing bajo el título “Clustering time series by linear dependency”.

SEIO-FBBVA Awards 2020

Goodness-of-fit tests for the functional linear model based on randomly projected empirical processes

Award: Best methodological contribution in the Statistics field.

Juan A. Cuesta-Albertos, Eduardo García-Portugués, Manuel Febrero-Bande, Wenceslao González-Manteiga

This is an outstanding work published in one of the leading statistical journals which solves a difficult long-standing problem in functional linear modelling and provide a fully nonparametric approach. The new test has remarkable computational advantages over existing tests while retaining a comparable power. The authors also developed an R package for the procedure.

A Verification Theorem for Threshold-Indexability of Real-State Discounted Restless Bandits

Award: Best methodological contribution in the Operations Research field.

José Niño-Mora

This is a relevant and deep novel contribution on a topic with multiple applications in various fields like Machine Learning, Vehicle Control where telemetry data have to be transmitted from vehicles to ground stations, or on-line marketing. The jury has also appreciated the highly enthusiastic support letters.

Assessing thermal comfort and energy efficiency in buildings by statistical quality control for autocorrelated data

Award: Best applied contribution with impact in the social arena, innovation or knowledge transfer in the Statistics field.

Inés Barbeito, Sonia Zaragoza, Javier Tarrío-Saavedra, Salvador Naya

This is an innovative and interdisciplinary application in the statistical quality control field. The procedure, implemented in R, controls and supervises the thermal comfort and energy consumption in buildings using data retrieved from an ad hoc big data web energy platform, and also calculates the corresponding energy savings.

Chronological Time-Period Clustering for Optimal Capacity Expansion Planning with Storage

Award: Best applied contribution with impact in the social arena, innovation or knowledge transfer in the Operations Research field.

Salvador Pineda, Juan M. Morales

This is an interesting application of OR to the field of energy generation and capacity extension in power systems. This application area is very relevant, due to the massive usage of energy nowadays and the huge cost of the involved operations.
The clustering method proposed by the authors outperforms the existing ones, as shown in the experimental analysis carried out on a case study involving real data.