Berlin, 6 November 2020. Falling Walls Venture, as a global platform, highlights the most promising science start-ups from across the world, nominated by top-tier academic institutions. The format provides a stage for pioneering founders who have successfully turned science into business, proving how entrepreneurial solutions can help solve today’s most pressing challenges. Every year, emerging companies, spanning across various industries, present their innovative solutions in a chance of becoming the “Science Start-Up Breakthrough of the Year”. Taking on a digital form for the first time this year, the 74 Falling Walls Venture finalists share their projects in a 5-minute video in a freely accessible media library.


Today, in the Falling Walls Venture ‘Winners Session’, the 10 Winners of the category were announced, presenting their impactful projects, ranging from sustainable materials to medical advances. A high-calibre jury of international experts, investors, and corporate innovation leaders, chaired by Stefan von Holtzbrinck, CEO of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, will select one of the finalists as the “Science Start-Up Breakthrough of the Year”, to be made public on 9 November 2020, the day that marks the fall of the Berlin Wall.



Nominated by Technical University of Darmstadt

Breaking the Wall to Material Joining. NanoWired has developed four new assembly and connection technologies: NanoWiring, KlettWelding, KlettSintering, KlettGlueing through the joining of electrical components with velcro fasteners, made of nano metallic turf.


FIBRECOAT GMBH – Dr. Robert Brüll

Nominated by RWTH Aachen

Breaking the Wall to Composites. Through their production of innovative thermoplastic coated glass fibres, which can be processed into composites for lightweight components, FibreCoat has found a way to significantly reduce the cost of composites, commonly used as alternatives for steel and aluminium.


MADE OF AIR GMBH– Allison Dring

Nominated by BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt 

Breaking the Wall to Carbon Negative Material. By bringing carbon-negative material, made from low-value biomass waste, into market at scale, Made of Air GmbH has created a solution for combatting climate change by replacing current thermoplastics at a competitive price in both construction and consumer goods.



Nominated by Tohoku University

Breaking the Wall of Limited Supply of Protein. With the demand for protein soon to overcome its supply, Regional Fish Institute, Ltd is working on improving the productivity and value of aquatic products by applying their “high-speed breeding” to aquaculture.


OFFGRID ENERGY LABS – Dr. Tejas Kusurkar

Nominated by Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Breaking the Wall of Toxic Batteries. With key innovation in 3 areas: chemistry, materials and design, Offgrid is building novel, sustainable batteries for stationary and mobility markets, using commonly available materials that are both sustainable and non-toxic.


ATLANT 3D NANOSYSTEMS – Dr. Maksym Plakhotnyuk

Nominated by University of Illinois, Chicago

Breaking the Wall of Micro and Nanofabrication. ATLANT 3D has developed the first-ever material versatile atomic layer 3D printing technology. This technology will allow for the rapid acceleration of material development and prototyping of micro- and nanodevices at a fraction of the current cost with previously impossible geometries.


SPECTROPLAST AG – Dr. Manuel Schaffner

Nominated by ETH Zürich

Breaking the Wall of Silicone Manufacturing. Through 3D silicon printing, Spectroplast has created a solution for on-demand personalised medical silicone products that save in material resources, energy and waste.


PROTEONA – Dr. Andreas Schmidt

Nominated by National University of Singapore
Breaking the Wall of Cancer, One Cell at a Time. Through AI, Proeona is turning single cell multi-omics, into a weapon against cancer, by profiling tumours at a single-cell level and matching their molecular signatures to drug response data.


ILYA PHARMA – Dr. Evelina Vågesjö

Nominated by Uppsala University 

Breaking the Wall of Next-Generation Biologics. As a clinical- stage biopharmaceutical company, Ilya Pharma is developing cost-efficient, next-generation biologics for accelerated healing of skin and intestine wounds.



Nominated by the German Aerospace Center 

Breaking the Wall of Fossil Fuels. HelioHeat GmbH is the first company worldwide to begin commercialising solar receivers based on the solid particle technology for concentrating solar power plants for energy-intense industries.


Falling Walls Venture is a collaborative effort, generously supported by the Berlin Senate and global partner Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as by numerous international partner universities and research institutions.


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

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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 partners of the Falling Walls Foundation.

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