ALMA gives Chile a unique opportunity to take the lead in the development of software for astronomical instrumentation and data processing, using the public data produced by the observatory. Several Chilean universities successfully completed a project funded by the Chilean government’s Fondo de Fomento al Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (Scientific and Technological Development Fund, FONDEF), to increase ALMA’s capacity to establish a Chilean Virtual Observatory. This astroinformatics platform for mass data mining from observatories led Chile to form part of the International Virtual Observatories Alliance (IVOA).
In October 2017, ALMA co-hosted the 27th version of a series of conferences on astronomic data analysis software and systems, with record attendance of 400 participants, of which approximately 100 participants were students and members of Chilean universities and observatories operating in Chile. The event helped position the message about opportunities in Chile to become the global leader in data science in general and “Astroinformatics” in particular.