„Lernen. Forschen. Machen.“


Falling Walls Lab

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



Anja Wehrle

Department 3.0 – Press and Communications


+49 241 80 90416





On September 15, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the University, Falling Walls Lab Rhineland 2020 was hosted by RWTH Aachen University.

The event has been organized in collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, the University of Bonn, and the University of Cologne.

The aim of the Falling Wall Labs is 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 are:

  • 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"

Ranked first and second, Daniela Castro Herrera and Dr. Ricardo Parra Cruz will now be invited to attend the Falling Walls Remote 2020 – The Breakthroughs of the Year event, scheduled to take place in November 2020. Tthey have the chance to be named "Breakthrough Winner of the Year" in the "Emerging Talents" category.

What is the Falling Walls Lab?

Falling Walls Lab is an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries. The participants, also known as “Labsters,” are given the opportunity to present their research, business model, or initiative to peers, a high-calibre jury of experts from academia and business, and the general public – in just 3 minutes.


Who Was Eligible to Apply as a Labster?

  • 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

What's in It for Them?

The first and second winners of the Falling Walls Labs Rhineland selected by the jury may participate 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 will once again be able to enter the ring with their project - at the remote Emerging Talents Category Day on November 4, 2020, where they will present their project to an international audience. The winner of this pitch will be awarded the Breakthrough Winner of the Year title in the Emerging Talents category. They will then have 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 will receive non-cash prizes from RWTH Aachen University.