In 2020, for the first time ever, the Falling Walls Conference is taking place virtually, publicly and freely accessible. With this digital shift, rather than simply broadcasting the usual two-day-conference in which selected leading scientists presented their latest research, an international call for the most innovative minds was launched in ten categories.

The non-for-profit Falling Walls Foundation, invited all universities, academies, scientific institutions, companies, foundations as well as scientists across the globe to nominate their most recent scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to change the world.

Over 900 nominations were submitted. Today, more than 600 finalists coming from 111 countries are presenting their ground-breaking research in a freely accessible media library. This year’s Winner sessions, live-streamed from 4 to 8 November, and the 10 research projects awarded “Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year” broadcasted on 9 November at 13.00 CET, would not have been possible without the help of our partners and the following nominating institutions, among many more.

Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa

Australian National University, Australia
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Nanyang Technological University, China
Tsinghua University, China
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
Technical University Vienna, Austria
European Commission, Belgium
University of Helsinki, Finland
CNRS, France
University of Oxford, UK
Imperial College London, UK
Springer Nature, UK
University of Calgary, UK
Uppsala University, Sweden
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
EPFL – Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Germany
FU Berlin, Germany
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany
Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Germany
Humboldt University, Germany
Max-Delbrueck-Centre for Molecular Medicine, Germany
Siemens AG, Germany
RWTH Aachen, Germany

North America
Arizona State University, USA
Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Harvard University, USA
Stanford University, USA
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, USA
UC Berkeley, USA
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, USA
X, the moonshot factory, USA
National Research Council of Canada, Canada
CIFAR, Canada

South America:
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Argentina
University of São Paulo, Brazil

UNESCO, France
Deutsche Wissenschafts- und Innovationshäuser, Germany
CERN, Switzerland


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.

Over the summer, leading academic institutions nominated their Breakthroughs of the Year in 10 fields of science – from life sciences to science engagement initiatives. In the coming weeks, we will exhibit about 400 finalists in our growing video library.

Dedicated juries, chaired by Helga Nowotny (Former President of the European Research Council), will select the top 10 winners in each field. These will be showcased and discussed during the World Science Summit (1 – 10 November), culminating in the grand final on the Falling Walls day on 9 November. Here, we will present the top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year – one from each field of science.


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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