Berlin, 04 November 2020. Each year, Falling Walls Lab recognises early-career researchers developing ground-breaking ways of addressing the greatest challenges of our time. Serving as an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries, its aim is to promote exceptional ideas and connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from various fields on a global level. Leading academic institutions from around the world host international Falling Walls Lab events, showcasing the quality, diversity, and passion of their region’s most innovative minds, before selecting winning candidates to take part in the Falling Walls Finale with the chance of being awarded Breakthrough of the Year. Among the participating institutions are the ETH Zürich, Tohoku University and the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung in cooperation with the University of Cape Town. Further nominations were submitted by leading research institutions around the world for breakthroughs in the Emerging Talents category.

Online for the first time this year, the 98 Emerging Talents present their ground-breaking research in a 5-minute video in a freely accessible media library. In today’s ‘Winners Session’, the 10 finalists selected by a distinguished world-class jury chaired by Claudie Haigneré, astronaut and former French Minister for Research andNew Technologies, presented their research projects, innovations in energy, medicine, data storage solutions, engineering and public health.


Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt, Dübendorf
Breaking the wall of fast charging. A patented heat treatment gives way to a charging speed 10 times faster than that of lithium-ion batteries.

National Technological Universityof Argentina
Breaking the wall of safe water access. A low-cost and easy-to-operate filter poses a solution for removing arsenic and other pollutants, that populate the groundwater of over 200 million people, according to WHO.

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt, Dübendorf
Breaking the wall of data latency and loss. Dutta brings together topologically stable nano-skyrmions and fast dynamics of ferrimagnetic materials to break out of the trilemma wall.

University of Tokyo
Breaking the wall of energy-efficient data storage. Explores the discovery and improvement of “magnetoelectric” materials which might power the next generation of computers, phones and hitherto unthought-of new devices.

Breaking the wall of democratising artificial intelligence.  Mutembei Kariuki develops AI that will aid companies in establishing solar infrastructure projects and agriculture, simultaneously tackling the democratisation of AI and youth unemployment in Africa.

NERIT’E, Mexico City
Breaking the wall of unsustainable agriculture. Martínez Barrón has developed a low-cost infrared spectral analyser that determines the nutrients present in the soil, optimising fertiliser allocation, increasing yield and improving sustainable agriculture.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal
Breaking the wall of coronary artery disease. Moussi has designed a catheter delivery system with integrated microneedles, enabling localised delivery of therapeutics into targeted blood vessel walls, optimising the treatment for the deadliest disease in the world.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Breaking the wall of antibiotic resistant infections. With antibiotic resistance on the rise, Rimon examines the use of phages in treating unresponsive patients.

University of Texas at Tyler
Breaking the wall of Neonatal Health Disparity. Tabassum’s device allows for the measurement of biomarker levels within just 10 minutes, providing a solution for the potentially fatal delay in diagnosis and treatment of infants.

University of Cape Town
Breaking the wall of energy insecurity in Africa. Recipient of the LOREAL/UNESCO Women in Science Award in 2019, Tucker has developed a novel waste-to-fuel process to produce diesel and electricity for modular, off-grid applications in a Sub-Saharan African context.


On 9 November, the day that marks the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ten Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year will be announced and presented to an international audience during the Grand Finale at 13.00–15.00 CET. 


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

Falling Walls Foundation gGmbH
Kochstraße 6-7
10969 Berlin


About the Falling Walls Foundation
The Falling Walls Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Berlin. The foundation creates international and interdisciplinary platforms and networks through its annual Falling Walls Conference, which asks each year on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: Which walls will fall next?


Falling Walls Conference
This year, the conference shifts from a physical event in Berlin to a global virtual showcase. Here, we gather, discuss and celebrate the most recent breakthroughs in science and society. This happens across a packed schedule of live streams, video presentations, live panels and virtual meetings.


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 partnersof the Falling Walls Foundation.





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