The Falling Walls Conference, in search of the scientific breakthroughs of the year, launches a new remote format as part of the Berlin Science Week. The 2020 edition will provide free access to a media library of 600 finalist videos and showcase in a digital programme the 100 winner research projects of an international open call. An expert jury will finally select 10 ‘Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year’ and present them at the ‘Grand Finale’ on 9 November, the day that marks the Fall of the Berlin Wall. In addition to its mission to serve as a strategic forecast platform, the daily ‘Falling Walls Circle Tables’ will debate urgent interdisciplinary scientific questions and set the Post-Corona-Agenda for science and research.


Berlin, 22 October 2020.This year Falling Wallsis reshaping its model to offer a digital stage for top researchers and create a global forum for scientific breakthroughs and their initiators. Rather than simply broadcasting the usual two-day-conference in which selected leading scientists presented their latest research, this year an international call for the most innovative minds has been launched in ten categories. Maximising the potential of digitalisation, the programmewill spread from 1 to 10 November with ‘Daily Highlights’ 13.00 Berlin Time (CET) and an accessible schedule, ensuring that people living in multiple time zones can follow the live sessions and gain insights into valuable scientific progress.

10 Categories, 600 Finalists, 100 Winners

Leading research institutions around the world were asked to submit their scientific breakthroughs in ten different categories. These include: Life Sciences; Physical Sciences; Engineering and Technology; Social Sciences and the Humanities; Science in the Arts; Digital Education; Science and Innovation Management; Emerging Talents; Science Start-ups and Science Engagement.

From over 900 nominations from 111 countries, around 600 finalists are presenting their ground-breaking research in a 5-minute video, made freely accessible online. For Falling Walls 2020, distinguished world-class juries will identify per category ten ‘Winners’. From 4 to 8 November, two daily sessions presenting the winners of a respective category will be live-streamed. The live sessions will follow with open discussions between the audience and the speakers.

Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year

On 9 November, the anniversary of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall, one research project of each category will be awarded ‘Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year’ at the ‘Grand Finale’, broadcasted to international audiences at 13.00–15.00 Berlin Time (CET).

Falling Walls Circle Tables

 In addition to showcasing some of the most outstanding breakthroughs, Falling Walls 2020 will, as in the years before, also discuss urgent questions in multidisciplinary scientific fields. In the moderated panel discussions ‘Falling Walls Circle Tables’, distinguished world leaders from science, economics, politics, media and society will debate on important issues and set the Post-Corona-Agenda for science and research. Taking place from 1 to 10 November, speakers and topics will be updated regularly on the website.

Falling Walls X Berlin Science Week

Falling Walls is part of the broad programme of the Berlin Science Week, which will also take place from 1 to 10 November 2020. Research institutions from around the world will discuss the issues of our time in over 200, primarily digital, events – including workshops, panels, exhibitions and much more. Access to all features of the digital Falling Walls and Berlin Science Week 2020 is free of charge.


Press Contact
For all questions, please contact us.
Lisa Wagner:

Falling Walls Foundation gGmbH
Kochstraße 6-7
10969 Berlin


The Berlin Science Week is organised with the support of the Senate Chancellery – Science and Research and Berlin Partner. Coordination is provided by the not-for-profit Falling Walls Foundation. The Falling Walls programme is conducted with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research and many other partners of the Falling Walls Foundation.



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