Winner Selected for Most Innovative Solution to Real-World Business Challenge in 2020 INFORMS Student Team Competition


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Winner Selected for Most Innovative Solution to Real-World Business Challenge in 2020 INFORMS Student Team Competition

CATONSVILLE, MD, April 29, 2020 – For the past four years, the annual INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition has featured a robust competition among global teams of students vying to solve real-world problems described in a problem set by that year’s competition sponsor. 

This year’s sponsor, Bayer, provided a framework for students in the competition to design a distribution network to determine product flows amid capacity constraints at a fictitious manufacturing company. Bayer, a leading life science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of healthcare and agriculture, provided each team with realistic data about the number of facilities, locations, manufacturing processes, and equipment available so they could work to find the best solution. 

The 2020 winner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, stood out among the six finalist teams from around the world that competed virtually in this year’s competition. The finalist teams were chosen from among 274 registrants representing 26 countries.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel developed the strongest strategy for better planning and internal workorder creation, establishing the current manufacturing capabilities, and balancing the workload across each of the manufacturing locations.

Other awards went to: Second Place: Universidad Católica de Chile; Third Place: Özyeğin University; and Honorable Mentions to Bilkent University, Boğaziçi University and Tilburg University. 

The teams had to use an O.R. and analytics approach to solve the complex business problem. They used identical data sets and had a choice of nine complimentary software options.  

“O.R. and analytics programs are essential to our success at Bayer and the opportunity to support the next generation of O.R. and analytics professionals is unparalleled. Each team proved their expertise in the field with their creative approaches to solving the problem. We commend everyone for their hard work and dedication to this competition,” said Shrikant Jarugumilli, Head of Decision Science - Connected Virtual Systems, Data Science Center of Excellence at Bayer.

A panel of 15 judges comprised of industry experts and academic leaders reviewed each team’s written submission, evaluating their analytics process, including problem framing, methodology selection, data use, model building, and quantitative analysis. 

They provided feedback to the finalist teams who presented their solutions to a judging panel via video conference on April 27 and 28. The winning team was announced on April 29 at the virtual awards ceremony. Check for a full schedule of presentations and access information.   

For more information on the INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition, visit



With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. 


About Bayer 

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros and R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to




Ashley Smith