The Falling Walls Lab will be bringing together 100 creative minds from over 45 countries in Berlin. They each have exactly three minutes to win over a top-class jury from science and industry, led by Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the Nobel Foundation.
Applications are open to Bachelor and Master students, PhD students, postdocs and professionals from all disciplines who completed their degree not longer than five years ago.
The participants can qualify in preliminary rounds, which have almost doubled in number this year: research institutions and universities in 51 locations worldwide are organising international Falling Walls Labs, which will then send their winners to the Finale in Berlin. ‘We are delighted at the successful internationalisation of the Falling Walls Lab. Together with numerous partners, such as the Federal Foreign Office and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), we have been able to network more international talents with one another and promote academic exchange across national boundaries,’ states Professor Jürgen Mlynek, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Falling Walls Foundation and former President of the Helmholtz Association.
Of the 100 international participants who are to present their ideas at the Falling Walls Lab Berlin on 8 November, the top three will be named the ‘Falling Walls Innovators of the Year 2016’. They will also receive a cash prize and, with their three-minute presentations, appear on stage as speakers at the international Falling Walls Conference the next day in front of around 700 guests. Among this year’s Conference speakers are the French economist Hélène Rey, neuroscientist Jack Gallant and terrorism expert Peter Neumann.
Dr Martin Sonnenschein, Member of the Global Board of Directors at the management consultancy A.T. Kearney and founding partner of the Falling Walls Lab, emphasises the format’s uniqueness: ‘The diversity of ideas each year is overwhelming. At the Falling Walls Lab, we offer these young talents a platform to present themselves and network, which itself gives rise to new projects with the potential to change the world.’ Dr Claus Jessen, Chairman of the Management Board at Festo, Global Partner of the Falling Walls Lab, says: ‘We look forward to inspiring research and innovation projects, and especially to exchanging ideas with the next generation of top scientists from all over the world’.
The aim of the Falling Walls Lab is to promote scientific and entrepreneurial vision and to initiate and promote exchanges between young scientists and young professionals across disciplines. This year, in the run-up to the Finale in Berlin, 51 qualifying events will take place in 45 countries, including at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) and at Chimie ParisTech (France). The Falling Walls Lab is organised by the Falling Walls Foundation, with the support of the international management consultancy firm A.T. Kearney (Founding Partner) and Festo AG & Co KG (Global Partner).
Applications can be submitted online here.