Falling Walls Lab


Creative Ideas Tech & IT Business Plan

Location (s):

  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Online
  • Thailand


Falling Walls Lab is an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries. The 2021 international Lab season has begun!

Students, researchers, and early-career professionals of all disciplines are invited to pitch their innovative idea in 3 minutes, showcasing a breakthrough that creates a positive impact on science and society.


Three minutes is all it takes! Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum, and stepping stone that brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary pool of students, researchers, and early-career professionals by providing a stage for breakthrough ideas both globally and locally. Our multifaceted formats support our participants in driving their innovations and develop their communication skills, fostering collaboration and creating a space for our impactful and sustainable community to thrive.

Each year from March to October, renowned academic institutions around the world host local Falling Walls Labs to showcase the quality, diversity, and passion of their region’s most innovative minds. In three minutes each, participants are given the opportunity to present their solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time to peers, a high-calibre jury of experts from academia and business, and the general public.

Past presentations have ranged in topic from ‘Breaking the Wall of Cancer with a Fruit Fly’ to ‘Breaking the Wall of Energy Insecurity in Africa’. The breakthrough factor, potential impact of the presented work, and performance help the jury determine the winner, who qualifies for the global Finale in Berlin on 8 November and wins a ticket to attend the Falling Walls Conference, where the finalists get to interact and network with the world’s movers and shakers of science, business, and policy-making.

During their multi-day stay in Berlin, the 100 finalists take part in a broad extended programme that includes a coaching session and networking dinner, expert workshops on a broad range of topics such as career development, entrepreneurial skills, and academic publishing, and events hosted by prestigious German research organisations such as the German Research Foundation (DFG). At the global Finale, the finalists compete to become the Breakthrough Winner in the Emerging Talents category of Falling Walls, taking home the title and prize money, and receiving the opportunity to pitch their idea once again on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference, which, throughout the day, hosts leading experts, changemakers, and luminaries, including Nobel laureates and Leibniz Prize winners.

The international network of Falling Walls Labs includes renowned academic institutions from over 60 countries. Stanford University, ETH Zurich, Tohoku University, and the University of Cape Town are only a few of the universities that have recently participated in the Falling Walls Lab programme.

Falling Walls Lab is organised by the Falling Walls Foundation and generously funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Berlin-Senate, Google, and Huawei. It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

To apply, simply select the Lab located closest to you from the list below and fill out the application form. Don’t see a location near you? New locations are added regularly, so check back soon.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Note: Each Lab has a different application deadline.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Falling Walls Lab aims to reach a broad range of people from all professional backgrounds at the beginning of their careers. We are looking for university students, entrepreneurs, early-career researchers, and academics of all disciplines. Our aim is to provide our target demographic with a platform where they can present their innovative ideas and connect with fellow researchers and entrepreneurs from various fields. In order to pinpoint and reach these early-career innovators, we needed to develop a mechanism. We introduced our eligibility criteria to help us reach our target group and provide a level playing field for all participants.

You must be 18 years or older when submitting your application. There is no upper age limit for applicants.

You must fulfil at least one of the following formal requirements:

  • You are currently enrolled in university and/or are currently a postdoc
  • You received a Bachelor’s degree no more than 10 years ago
  • You received a Master’s degree no more than 7 years ago
  • You received a PhD no more than 5 years ago

*An MD (medical degree excl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a Master’s degree. A Dr. med. (medical degree incl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a PhD.


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants:

There are many reasons to apply:

  • Be given a platform for your research and ideas
  • Share your project, research work, or business ideas with other individuals dedicated to innovation
  • Become a part of a global community breaking down walls in science and society
  • Network and find new ways to collaborate with peers
  • Win a trip (travel & accommodation included) to the global Finale in Berlin, Germany, including a ticket to the Falling Walls Conference
  • Receive the opportunity to win a cash prize and to present on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference

There are no costs/fees involved in participating in a Falling Walls Lab. Please note, however, that the Falling Walls Foundation and our international Lab organisers cannot cover the costs of travel/accommodation for international Labs.

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