Start-up from Jena, Germany, wins the Falling Walls Venture Science Award for its painless biomaterial plaster for wounds and wrinkles


Berlin, 10 November 2017. German start-up Jenacell has been named the “2017 Science Start-up of the Year”. Its product, a wound dressing made of pure cellulose, is the first of its kind to quickly and painlessly treat extensive burns. Unlike conventional dressings, the Jenacell plasters are made of a moist, semitransparent and completely natural material that doesn’t adhere to wounds. The company’s nanocellulose, which is biotechnologically produced by bacteria, is also used for aesthetic treatments, such as smoothing wrinkles.

“Jenacell impressed the jury with its incredibly innovative product, which plays a particularly important role in the field of medicine. Each year in Germany, around 30,000 people are treated for burns, including many children. Rapid and painless treatment using Jenacell’s wound dressing represents a tremendous step forward,” said Dr Stefan von Holtzbrinck, CEO of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and head of the Falling Walls Venture Jury, explaining the jury’s choice of the start-up from Jena.

A total of 24 science based start-ups from around the world were invited to present their business ideas at Falling Walls Venture in Berlin. Among the participants were companies based in Canada, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany. Each company had five minutes to present their business model to the international jury of entrepreneurs, scientists and journalists.

The 24 finalists at Falling Walls Venture had been nominated by leading universities and venture capital firms: Evonik Industries, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Engineering, London, among others, sent their best science based start-ups to compete for the title of Falling Walls Science Start-Up 2017. In 2017, both New York University and Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, held preliminary competitions and sent their winners to Berlin.

Falling Walls Venture is an initiative of the Falling Walls Foundation and generously supported by its global partners Siemens, Boehringer Ingelheim and Evonik and takes place in cooperation with international partner universities and research institutions.

Press photos from Venture are available at


About the Falling Walls Foundation
The Falling Walls Foundation is a non-profit organisation in Berlin which holds the international Falling Walls Conference each year on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. At the Conference, around 20 leading scientists from around the world are each given 15 minutes to present their breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences, business and technology. The Falling Walls Foundation also coordinates the Berlin Science Week. For the second year in a row, the event will bring scientists from institutions all over the world to Berlin from 1 to 10 November. The Falling Walls Foundation is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Berlin Senate, as well as by numerous scientific institutions, foundations and companies. More information can be found at


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