Environmentally friendly copper compounds to replace expensive iridium: start-up cynora wins the Falling Walls Venture competition 

Roll-up display screens to become reality thanks to cynora GmbH’s technology


Berlin, 11/11/2013. The winner of the Falling Walls Venture international start-up competition is the high-tech company cynora from Karlsruhe. cynora GmbH is working on the development of new organic semiconductors, which are used in organic light emitting diodes because of their physical properties as coloured and white-light-emitting phosphors.

Currently, the rare element iridium is used in the manufacture of OLED displays and lighting materials. Deep blue emitters are required for both displays and lighting but are replaced by inefficient fluorescent materials due to lack of availability. The cynora solution is the use of emitters based on easily accessible, environmentally friendly and inexpensive raw materials such as copper. Using these, large-screen OLED applications could also be produced for the mass market, among other products.

The Karlsruhe-based company was able to nose ahead of its competitors with an impressive presentation. The jury chaired by Dr. Stefan von Holtzbrinck saw the greatest potential in cynora’s idea because replacing expensive and rare iridium with copper would be a big step forward for the industry. The jury also had the impression that with the management and financing that cynora has, it is well prepared for the steps to come.

Berlin’s Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, Cornelia Yzer described the Falling Walls Venture start-up competition – held for the first time – as “good news” for Berlin. In her welcoming speech, she said: “This event proves that there is an interesting start-up world outside of the digital economy.”

Around twenty of the world’s most innovative start-ups presented their business ideas to a jury at Falling Walls Venture on 08/11/2013 in Berlin. For their new project, the Falling Walls Foundation selected exclusively science-based start-ups whose “breakthrough potential” was rated as very high by leading academic institutions and venture capital firms. The nominating institutions included, among others, University College London; the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel; ETH Zurich; and the University of Copenhagen. The business areas of the start-up companies ranged from biotechnology and information technology, to renewable energy and medical technology.


About Falling Walls Venture

Falling Walls Venture was organised in cooperation with the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA), the TSB Technologiestiftung Berlin, the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), A.T. Kearney and international partner universities and research institutions.


About the Falling Walls Foundation

The Falling Walls Foundation is a non-profit organisation that fosters the discussion on research and innovation and promotes the latest scientific findings among a broad audience from all parts of society. It organises the Falling Walls Conference, an annual global gathering of forward-thinking individuals from over 75 countries. Each year on 9 November, 20 of the world’s leading scientists present their current breakthrough research in 15 minutes each. The Falling Walls Foundation is supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Helmholtz Association, the Berlin Senate for Economics, Technology and Research and numerous other acclaimed academic institutions, foundations, and companies. Visit www.falling-walls.com for more information, a short film and the lectures of the past years.


Press contact

Daniela Rattunde
Doreen Rietentiet
Falling Walls Foundation
Chausseestraße 8e
D-10115 Berlin

Tel. +49 30 609 8839 74

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