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About Falling Walls



Why participate?

Falling Walls Lab is a challenging, inspiring and interdisciplinary new format for bright young minds. It offers excellent young academics and professionals the opportunity to present their outstanding ideas, research projects, and initiatives.
Broaden your horizons, benefit from discussions, and gain experience in presenting your ideas and concepts to an international audience first in Jülich and then, for the successful finalists, in Berlin.

Falling Walls Lab Jülich is an independently organised event in cooperation with the Falling Walls Foundation.

Who can apply?

Bachelor´s and Master’s students, PhD candidates, postdocs, junior professors and entrepreneurs from all disciplines with the legal age of 18 are invited to apply. The Lab is open to participants from all countries. Enthusiastic participants will submit their ideas and, if successful, present them at the Falling Walls Lab Jülich. The finalists of the Falling Walls Lab Jülich will present her or his idea at the Lab Finale in Berlin.

Please note:
If an applicant presented at an international Falling Walls Lab or at the Falling Walls Lab Finale before January 2018, she/he is not allowed to apply/participate again.

Application and Deadline

Apply online at Falling Walls Lab Application
Extended application deadline: 1 July 2018

Ideas that can knock down walls

The Falling Walls Conference is a unique international platform for leaders from the worlds of science, business, politics, the arts, and society. It was initiated on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Inspired by this world-changing event on 9 November 1989, the question at every Falling Walls gathering is: Which walls will fall next? The Conference and it’s satellite events – such as the Falling Walls Labs - foster discussions on research and innovation and promote the latest scientific findings among a broad audience from all sections of society.

Falling Walls Labs are international events where academics, young entrepreneurs, and professionals, aged 18 and above, have three minutes to present innovative ideas that could have a positive impact on society.

A distinguished jury of academics, industry and media partners will choose the best idea presented at the Jülich event on 24 September to go through to the Finale and the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin.

The top three Jülich finalists will get the chance to present his or her breakthrough idea at the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin and will also win tickets to the Falling Walls Conference, where some of the world’s most prominent scientists will present their ground-breaking research. The costs of travel to Berlin and accommodation are included.

Link to Falling Walls Conference website

Selection criteria/eligibility

• If an applicant has a Bachelor’s degree, the degree should not date back more than 10 years.
• If an applicant has a Master’s degree, the degree should not date back more than 7 years.
• If an applicant has a PhD, the degree should not date back more than 5 years.
• Postdocs and students currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s programme are also eligible to apply.

By which criteria does the jury evaluate the presentations?

The jury looks at three different criteria: The “breakthrough factor” indicates if an idea is a real innovation, if it is original and catchy and has the potential to inspire other ideas.

Secondly, they will look at the relevance and the scope of impact of your work. Does it make a valuable contribution to progress; does it address an existing or imminent problem or even offer solutions to it?

The third category is related to the presenter and presentation itself: Did the participants deliver their presentations well? Did they explain their ideas in a clear and understandable way? Does the presenter show a proof of concept?


Being part of the Falling Walls Lab Jülich offers you a high-level networking platform, an opportunity to engage with and talk to key decision-makers and like-minded innovators, and a chance to present yourself on a visible stage.

The finalist of the qualifying Falling Walls Lab Jülich will be given the opportunity to present his or her breakthrough idea at the ‘Global Finale – Falling Walls Lab’ in Berlin where ideas are shared with finalists from all over the world.

The first three prizes include tickets for the Falling Walls Conference, the International Conference on Future Breakthroughs in Science and Society. The costs of travel to Berlin and accommodation are also covered.

FAQ for scholars

Below you will find answers to most frequently asked questions.

FAQ - Falling Walls