Falling Walls Lab Australia

The call for applications are currently closed


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. In 2019, Australian researcher Rhys Pirie took out first place at the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin and was named 2019 Young Innovator of the Year. Read more about his success and a follow-up interview six months after winning the competition.


On Wednesday 1 September 2021, the Australian Academy of Science will host the sixth Falling Walls Lab from Canberra.

This will be a Finale event for Australia, held online, where top presenters of State Labs, hosted in some states in Australia, will participate in the challenge, each giving a three-minute presentation on their research, business model or initiative based on the concept ‘Which walls will fall next?’.

A jury of distinguished academics and businesspeople, usually led by Australia’s Chief Scientist, select the winners of Falling Walls Lab Australia.

Information about the 2021 Falling Walls Lab Australia is available here.

The top three ranked presenters of the Falling Walls Lab Australia will each receive a prize of $1,000 and support from the Academy on their participation in Berlin Falling Walls Conference.

The winners’ videos are shared with the influential audience of judges and participants of Falling Walls Berlin, and on the Academy’s social media platforms to over 2.4 million followers.


To be considered in the Falling Walls Lab Australia 2021 the candidate must be nominated via State Labs. Candidates should be research active in any field of the natural sciences, including technology, engineering and medicine, or arts, humanities and social sciences.


For further information contact

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

Past Australian finalists

The following researchers were named winners of the Falling Walls Lab Australia and participated in the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin.

2020 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Jessica Hamilton ANSTO
Mr Alan Robertson ClearSky Genomics
Mr Andrew Law Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Dr Dashen Dong (People's Choice award) RMIT

Find out more about the 2020 winners

2019 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Elena Schneider-Futschik University of Melbourne
Ms Kate Secombe University of Adelaide
Mr Rhys Pirie University of Queensland

Rhys Pirie was named 2019 Young Innovator of the Year at the Falling Walls Lab Berlin Finale. Rhys is the first Australian to win the global Lab. Find out more about the 2019 Falling Walls Berlin Finale here.

Find out more about the 2019 winners

2018 winners

Name Organisation
Ms Samantha Wade University of Wollongong
Ms Hayley Teasdale University of Canberra

Find out more about the 2018 winners

2017 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Mortaza Rezae Curtin University
Dr Vini Gautam The Australian National University

Find out more about the 2017 winners

2016 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Kim van Netten The University of Newcastle

Find out more about the 2016 winners

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