The Science Breakthroughs of the Year

We look forward to welcoming the people who are finding solutions to the greatest challenges of our time, and thus contributing to a better world, back to Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.



A day of live pitches in the following categories: Emerging Talents (Falling Walls Lab) for the next generation of outstanding innovators. Science Start-Ups (Falling Walls Venture) for the science start-up community. Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage) for inspiring science engagers.


Our format to connect science and society. Researchers, policymakers, business leaders, and society discuss the biggest challenges we face and the foresight that scientific breakthroughs can offer.


On the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the Breakthrough Day provides a stage for outstanding research presented in inspiring presentations. For the 14th time, “the brightest minds on the planet” (BBC) will showcase their work.

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates about the Science Summit and science breakthroughs

The Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021

The value of breakthrough research has hardly ever been more evident as it is the groundbreaking work of scientists that will allow us to overcome the pandemic. We received more than 1000 nominations from 115 countries in the search of the Science Breakthroughs of the Year in 10 categories. The distinguished juries chaired by Helga Nowotny, President Emerita of the European Research Council, have elected the Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021 in the categories 1-7: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Social Sciences and Humanities, Art and Science, Future Learning, and Science and Innovation Management.

The Winners 2021

Around 200 Winners across 10 categories were qualifying for the title “Science Breakthrough of the Year”. All researchers show groundbreaking research that aims to bring down the walls in science and society.

Falling Walls Circle 2021

At the Falling Walls Circle, global leaders in research, business, policymaking, and media will exchange ideas and discuss solutions for today’s most pressing issues in science and society. Don’t miss these symposia and debates on 8 November.

The Falling Walls Science Summit is part of the Berlin Science Week with over 200 events from 1–10 Nov 2022. Since its first annual meeting on 9 November 2009, the 20th anniversary of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall, the Falling Walls Science Summit has continuously developed into a world forum for science. Some of the most important researchers and thinkers of our time gather at Falling Walls to discuss breakthroughs with global leaders in science, politics, business, and the media, answering the core question of the Falling Walls Science Summit: “Which are the next walls to fall in science and society?“