"Lernen. Forschen. Machen."


Falling Walls Lab

Person standing next to writing Which are the Next Walls to Fall? © Falling Walls Foundation



On September 15, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the University, Falling Walls Lab Rhineland 2020 was hosted by RWTH. The event was organized in collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, the University of Bonn, and the University of Cologne. The aim of the internal forum was to promote exceptional ideas and to connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields on a global level. It provides a forum for early career researchers who are

  • engaged in an innovative research project, entrepreneurial project or social initiative that creates a positive impact on science and society   today and in the future
  • ready to convince a distinguished jury from business and academia of their breakthrough idea in a 3-minute presentation in English

The winners of Fallings Walls Lab Rhineland 2020 were:

  • 1st place: Daniela Castro Herrera, "Breaking the Wall of Ecological Sanitation"
  • 2nd place: Dr. Ricardo Parra Cruz, "Breaking the Wall of Industrial Carbon Pollution"
  • 3rd place: Dr. Eduardo Macedo de Melo, "Breaking the Wall of Enzyme Regulation"


Who Was Eligible to Apply?

  • We were looking for outstanding talents and innovative thinkers from all disciplines
  • Eligible to apply were Bachelor's and Master's students, doctoral candidates, postdocs, and junior professors from the above research institutions

Falling Walls Lab is to be hosted again in 2021 – this time by the University of Bonn. The exact date will be published shortly.

What Was In It for Them?

The first and second winners of the Falling Walls Labs Rhineland selected by the jury participated in the group of 100 finalists from all the Falling Walls Labs around the world in the Emerging Talents category in Falling Walls Remote 2020: The Breakthroughs of the Year, held from November 4 to 9, 2020.

Those seleted to be the top ten finalists were once again able to enter the ring with their project – at the remote Emerging Talents Category Day on November 4, 2020, where they presented their project to an international audience. The winner of this pitch was awarded the Breakthrough Winner of the Year title in the Emerging Talents category. They then had the right to present their project together with the nine other winners of the other categories at the central remote live event, Falling Walls Day, on November 9, 2020, to a highly respected audience of industry leaders, decision makers, investors, and international media representatives.

Furthermore, the top three participants of the Falling Walls Lab Rhineland received non-cash prizes from RWTH Aachen University.