The first Falling Walls Lab of New York set the stage for inspiring ideas

The German Center for Research and Innovation hosted the first Falling Walls Lab of New York City on 30 August 2016. The event was supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Falling Walls Foundation, A.T. Kearney (Founding Partner) and Festo (Global Partner).

 10 outstanding talents and innovative thinkers from a wide variety of academic disciplines showcased their research projects, business models and social initiatives. The topics featured disaster relief, diagnostics and the refugee crisis of Europe.

A high-calibre jury made up of representatives from science and the industry selected the best presenters who will travel to Berlin and pitch once more at the global Lab Finale on 8 November 2016. The winners also receive a ticket for the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November which brings together some of the most prominent scientists and institution leaders.


Meet the winners

1st Place: Oren Miron     Israel     Harvard University     Breaking the Wall of Autism

Autism hurts millions of children and cost trillions of dollars each year. That's because autism is diagnosed too late for treatment in developed countries and it's undiagnosed developing countries. Oren intends to detect autism at birth with a brain test that screens hearing impairment in developed countries.

2nd Place: Ya-El Mandel-Portnoy     Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai     Breaking the Wall of Treating Atrial Fibrillation

There is a need to identify those Atrial Fibrillation patients who will not tolerate the arrhythmia well and will suffer from adverse events at early stage. Ya-El showcased the Cardea Sciences’ product which is an objective metric for characterising the hemodynamic effect in AFib patients. With this product, physicians will be able to identify AFib patients that are set on a downward trajectory.

3rd Place: Heather Painter     University of Munich     Breaking the Wall of Intolerance

Over a million refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, seeking peace and protection. Now many of them are met instead with the anger, fear, and violence they feld from initially, as populist parties rise. In order to foster acceptance and combat misconceptions, the project come UNITY seeks to pair German natives with refugees based on their shared interests through an app supported by community events.


Meet the jury

Dr. Kurt Becker (Chairman), Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, New York University

Dr. Nina Lemmens, Director, DAAD North America

Prof. Peter Schlosser, Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University

Dietmar Rieg, President and CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Yaihara Fortis Santiago, Director of the Science Alliance, New York Academy of Sciences


Oren Miron (l), Ya-El Mandel-Portnoy (c) and Heather Painter (r) - the winners of the NYC Lab.



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