Falling Walls Lab Vienna 2014


The Falling Walls Lab, a non-profit series of scientific conferences, aims at building and fostering interdisciplinary connections between young bright minds. This new challenging, inspiring and interdisciplinary format offers the opportunity to excellent young academics and professionals from all disciplines to present their outstanding ideas, research projects and entrepreneurial or social initiatives. Each participant is asked to present his/her work in 3 minutes, and a prestigious jury from science and business awards the best participants.

The Falling Walls Lab Vienna 2014, which took place on 4th June in the IMBA/GMI lecture hall, was hosted by the MFPL, the AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) and the Campus Vienna Biocenter. Last year´s finalist of the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin, Martina Sauert from MFPL, and last year`s winner, Klemens Wassermann from AIT, organized the event. 16 participants from AIT, MFPL, GMI, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI, ÖAW), University of Veterinary Medicine (Vetmeduni, Vienna), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU, Vienna), University of Technology (TU, Vienna), Maastricht University, Linz Center of Mechatronics, Faculty of Physics (University of Vienna), Institute of Molecular Biosciences (University of Graz) and MARKS (Bucharest) presented their ideas.

Congratulations to the winner Theresa Berninger (AIT), who presented the idea of breaking the wall of sustainable agriculture with capsules that contain plant growth-promoting microbes as a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Theresa qualified for the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin on 8th November as one of 100 international and interdisciplinary participants.

The second place went to Slaven Stekovic (Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, NAWI Graz), who intends to increase life and health span by efficient diagnostics and specific nutritional interventions.

The third place was taken ex aequo by Mario Krenn from the Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, and Johana Luna (AIT). Mario creates complex entangled quantum systems which can be used for practical futuristic devices (such as quantum cryptography). Johana presented her project in which protein profile biomarkers as a minimal invasive colorectoral cancer diagnostic method are developed.

Special thanks to the Jury members (Prof. Dr. Renée Schroeder from MFPL, Dr. Wolfgang Bonitz, Medical Director of Novartis, Dr. Michaela Fritz, Head of the Department for Health & Environment at AIT, Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kritzinger, Head of the Department of Methods in the Social Sciences at the University of Vienna, Prof. Dr. Jörg Schmiedmayer, Professor for Quantum Physics at the Technical University of Vienna and Dr. Michael Stampfer, Managing Director of the Vienna Science and Technology Fund), to the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Leonie Ringrose from IMBA, and to the organizers Martina Sauert and Klemens Wassermann, who put a lot of time and effort into realizing the Falling Walls Lab Vienna 2014!

All pictures of the event are online in the Falling Walls Flickr Stream.