Falling Walls Lab Australia


The call for applications is 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. Each year, nearly 100 international Labs are held with more than 1000 presenters, 100 of whom make it to the final in Berlin. 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.


The Australian Academy of Science has been hosting the Falling Walls Lab Australia competition since 2016 in partnership with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Canberra. EURAXESS has partnered with the Academy on this event since 2020.

A jury of distinguished academics and businesspeople select the winners of Falling Walls Lab Australia. The top three presenters of Falling Walls Lab Australia receives sponsorship from the Academy to participate in the Berlin Falling Walls Conference in November each year. See more about our past Falling Walls Lab Australia events.


Finalists in the Falling Walls Lab Australia are selected from State Labs. Candidates should be active researchers in any field of the natural sciences, including technology, engineering and medicine, or arts, humanities and social sciences.


For more information, contact:

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

Logos for Australian Academy of Science, Falling Walls Lab Australia, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Canberra, and Euraxesss

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.

2023 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Emma-Anne Karlsen University of Queensland
Dr Alex Griffin Cerebral Palsy Alliance and The University of Sydney
Ms Hemanshi Galaiya University of Queensland

Find out more about the 2023 winners

2022 winners

Name Organisation
Ms Merryn Fraser Australian National University
Dr Clara Jiang University of Queensland
Ms Mars Buttfield-Addison University of Tasmania

Find out more about the 2022 winners

2021 winners

Name Organisation
Dr Jiao Jiao Li University of Technology Sydney
Mr Chamikara Liyanage Queensland University of Technology
Dr Lokman Norazmi University of Tasmania
Mr Chamikara Liyanage and Dr Lokman Norazmi Joint People's Choice award for 2021 Falling Walls Lab Australia

Find out more about the 2021 winners

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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