Berlin, 15 September 2021. Today the first Science Breakthroughs of the Year Awards are announced by
the Falling Walls Foundation in Berlin. The Science Breakthroughs are awarded in 10 categories, the first seven
recipients ranging from Life Sciences and Physical Sciences to Art and Science and Science and Innovation
The first laureates of the prestigious “Science Breakthrough of the Year” award are:
José-Alain Sahel, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine & Institut de la Vision (Sorbonne Université/Inserm/CNRS)| Life Sciences
Breaking the Wall to Restoring Vision for Retinal Degeneration
Elham Fadaly and Erik Bakkers, Eindhoven University of Technology | Physical Sciences
Breaking the Wall to Light-Emitting Silicon
Francesca Santoro, Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia | Engineering and Technology
Breaking the Wall to Biohybrid Synapses
Dilip Menon, University of Witwatersrand | Social Sciences and Humanities
Breaking the Wall to a Paracolonial Paradigm
Gerhard Widmer, Johannes Kepler University Linz | Art and Science
Breaking the Wall to Computational Expressivity in Music Performance
George Cowell, Rising Academy Network | Future Learning
Breaking the Wall to AI-powered Personalised Learning for All
Gisbert Schneider, ETH Zurich | Science and Innovation Management
Breaking the Wall of Slow and Inefficient Drug Discovery
Over 1.000 nominations from 115 countries were reviewed by the jury chaired by Helga Nowotny, Former President of the
European Research Council. The breakthroughs will be presented during the Falling Walls Science Summit on 9 November in Berlin, the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Free livestream of the event will be available on www.falling-walls.com.
“The jury was thrilled by the excellent research that lay at the foundation of each project and the commitment of research
institutions around the world to continue looking for solutions that serve humanity” – comments Helga Nowotny, Jury Chair and Former President of the European Research Council.
As Jürgen Mlynek, the Chairman of the Falling Walls Foundation, adds: “The number of participating institutions and countries is growing each year. This is a positive trend that shows that the Falling Walls Science Summit makes an important contribution to the international scientific community and brings the best research on stage in Berlin “.
The Science Breakthroughs of the Year in categories Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage), Science Start-Ups (Falling
Walls Venture) and Science Innovators (Falling Walls Lab) will be announced after shortlist live pitches during the Falling Walls Science Summit. Breakthroughs in alle ten categories will present their work on 9 November, the anniversary of the peaceful Fall of the Berlin Wall.
About the Falling Walls Science Summit
Falling Walls Science Summit is a leading international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral forum for scientific breakthroughs and science dialogue between global science leaders and society. The event takes place every year from 7–9 November in Berlin, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. With formats Falling Walls Pitches (7 Nov), Falling Walls Circle (8 Nov) and Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year (9 Nov), the Falling Walls Science Summit is the leading forum for global science leaders from academia, business, politics, the media, and civil society to debate the potential of scientific breakthroughs to solve grand challenges and shape a sustainable future. The Falling Walls Science Summit is organized by the charitable Falling Walls Foundation. More: www.falling-walls.com
Tel: +49 30 60 988 39-750