Digital data services and hand hygiene challenges were the focus of this year's Essity University Challenge, where we invited students at partner universities to submit their ideas and solutions to real life professional hygiene challenges relating to hygiene and health.

A team of dedicated head judges, including Don Lewis, Anna Sävinger Åslund, Joséphine Edwall Björklund, Matt Hirst, Peter Hemmingsen, Markus Stojan, Beto Cajiga, Amy Bellcourt and Erik Flood evaluated the finalist entries on parameters such as brand recognition, business relevance, target audiences, creativity and customer insights.

Winner of the Engineering Challenge: K'eex from Mexico!

Mexican team K'eex's solution is centered around the guests and uses dispensing data, connected with a digital and interactive dispenser, to enhance their dining experience. This data driven solution capitalizes on the full potential of the restaurant, from ordering through to payment, seeking to maximize business growth and improve hygiene at every step of the way. 

"K'eex's entry capitalized on the use of technology to better serve restaurants and their diners by connecting customers with staff. The icing on the cake for the judges was the team's inclusion of the possibility for databased decision making and rewards for excellent work, as both help drive performance and give K'eex the potential to become an industry must have!" says Peter Blomström, Global Brand Director Services. 

Winners of the Marketing Challenge: US team from Drexel University's LeBow College of Busines

The winning team Lebow from Drexel University developed a social media campaign with the potential to change handwashing behavior. With clarity and focus they presented a two-step campaign with a strong creative idea that has the power to go viral. 

'Educating and stimulating people to improve handwashing behavior at critical moments when they are out and about can potentially save lives! Through an excellent use of social media with minimal investment, this campaign would create both engagement with consumers and build equity for Tork and Essity". says Bengt Eriksson, Global Master Brand Director for Tork.

The winners were very happy; This is the first time we've had the chance to represent the United States on a global scale and are so happy to have won! This challenge was a great experience for collaboration and creativity, and we all learned so much about applying marketing concepts to an organizational challenge.

It's a win-win!

The two winning teams will be rewarded with different opportunities to learn and share with Essity. They will be able to present, discuss and celebrate their winning ideas with leaders within Professional Hygiene. They will also be offered an internship with Essity, making sure their ideas are embedded in our organization, as well as giving the students an opportunity to learn about the digital transformation and innovation in our business. 

From the team at Essity, we would like to extend a warm thank you to all students, mentors and judges who participated in this year's challenge and look forward to seeing our internship recipients around the office.