Falling Walls Lab Australia


The call for applications has now closed. The Academy expects to notify applicants of the outcome in early August.


The Falling Walls Foundation is a non-profit organisation in Berlin, dedicated to the support of science and the humanities. It was established in 2009, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. At its heart is the question ‘Which are the next walls to fall?’ as a result of scientific, technological, economic and sociological breakthroughs.

Each year, the foundation supports scientific organisations around the world to host a Falling Walls Lab. This international forum promotes interdisciplinary connections between aspiring academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and professionals, known for their excellent work. Participants are given three minutes to present their research work, business model or initiative to a broad audience from science and industry, including a distinguished jury who selects the most innovative and promising idea.

Falling Walls Lab is a challenging and inspiring format for emerging bright minds, giving them a unique chance to become the next big success story in innovation. Since 2009, there have been over 80 international Labs from close to 50 countries worldwide with over 1,000 participants. Six hundred outstanding talents have participated in the annual Falling Walls Lab Finales from 2011 to 2016.


The Australian Academy of Science invites applications from Australian researchers, postdocs and students, entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators from all areas to attend Australia’s Falling Walls Lab in 2017.

Falling Walls Lab Australia will be held on 12 September 2017 at the Shine Dome, Canberra. Twenty Australian and five New Zealand/Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Nations contestants will be invited to participate in the challenge, each giving a three-minute presentation on their research, business model or initiative based on the ‘Which walls will fall next?’ concept. For more information visit the Falling Walls Lab. Presentation templates and further instructions will be provided to successful applicants.

More information on this opportunity

All costs relating to travel to and from the event, and accommodation and meals outside of the event in Canberra, will be the participants’ responsibility.

A jury of distinguished academics and business people will select the winner of Falling Walls Lab Australia 2017. The winner will be automatically admitted to the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin on 8 November 2017. The Falling Walls Foundation will cover the winner’s attendance at the Falling Walls Conference. The winner of the Falling Walls Lab Australia will have their travel expenses to Berlin and their accommodation costs in Berlin on 8-9 November covered.

Fields of research

Candidates should be research active in any field of the natural sciences, including technology, engineering and medicine, as well as social sciences and the humanities.


The candidate must:

  • be either
    • an Australian or New Zealand citizen
    • an Australian permanent resident or hold a valid student or working visa
    • a New Zealand permanent resident or hold a valid student or working visa
    • a citizen or resident of a PIF Nation outside Australia and New Zealand
  • based in either Australia, New Zealand, or a PIF Nation at the time of application
  • be 18 years of age or over
  • be currently enrolled in university or hold a degree (copy of degree may be required)
    • hold a bachelor’s degree which must have been received within ten (10) years prior to 1 January 2017 (i.e. conferred on or after 1 January 2007)
    • hold a master’s degree which must have been received within seven (7) years prior to 1 January 2017 (i.e. conferred on or after 1 January 2010)
    • hold a PhD which must have been received within five (5) years prior to 1 January 2017 (i.e. conferred on or after 1 January 2012)
  • hold a passport valid until at least April 2018.

Notification of outcome: early August 2017.

Important notices

Australian applications will be considered carefully by an evaluation panel put together by the Australia Academy of Science with diverse expertise. New Zealand and PIF Nation applications will be carefully considered by an evaluation panel put together by the Royal Society of New Zealand with diverse expertise. The decisions of the panels are based on the assessed competitiveness of the proposal. The Academy and the Royal Society are not able to enter into discussion or correspondence regarding the reasons why an application is successful or not.

For further information contact

International Programs
Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 02 6201 9412
Email: grants@science.org.au

New Zealand
Research Funding (International)
Royal Society of New Zealand
PO Box 598
Wellington 6011
Phone: +64 4 470 5756| +64 4 470 5764
Email: International.Applications@royalsociety.org.nz

Last year's winner of Falling Walls Lab Australia

This program is supported by the Australian Academy of Science, the German Embassy in Canberra, the German–Australian Chamber for Industry and Commerce (GACIC), the Royal Society of New Zealand, the German Embassy in Wellington, the Falling Walls Foundation and AT Kearney.

© 2018 Australian Academy of Science