KWS Congratulates the Winners of the Idea Contest “Falling Walls Lab“

Overall about 600 researchers and young professionals applied from all over the world to take part in the Falling Walls Lab 2013. The idea contest is supported by A.T. Kearney, the global management consulting firm (Founding Partner) and KWS SAAT AG (Global Partner 2013). The goal of the contest is to foster scientific and entrepreneurial innovations and promote the exchange between young talents from of all fields. 

The winners of the International Qualifying Labs presented their breakthroughs on 9 November 2013 in Berlin. The overall winner, selected by the jury and the audience winner was the Austrian Klemens Wassermann of the Austrian Institute of Technology. He revolutionizes infection diagnostics with a simple yet impressive idea on detecting bacteria in blood. He developed an innovative way for specific and rapid pathogen concentration to fundamentally change sensitive and automated pathogen detection at a very low cost. Wassermann would like to finalize his patent with an estimated material price of less than two euros per piece.


According to the jury the Falling Walls Lab has become a must-see event for young scientists. The interdisciplinary forum annually grants a stage for several hundreds of initiatives and interesting research projects from a wide spectrum of scientific fields such as medicine, social science, engineering, economics as well as agricultural and natural sciences. “The Falling Walls Lab has demonstrated once again that a single idea often causes big impacts and can change the world,” emphasizes Dr. Jaana Saarteinen-Erben, jury member and Head of Corporate Human Resources at KWS.

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The Winners of the Falling Walls Lab Berlin 2013 at a glance


1. Place and Audience Award (1000 Euro and iPad): Klemens Wassermann, Austria: “Breaking the Wall of Infection Diagnostics”, Austrian Institute of Technology

2. Place (750 Euro): Tarek R. Besold, Germany: Breaking the Wall of Computational Creativity“, University of Osnabrück

3. Place (500 Euro): John Woodland, South Africa: „Breaking the Wall of Detecting Free Haem in Cell“, University of Cape Town

3. Place (500 Euro): Katerina Spranger, Ukraine/Germany: “Breaking the Wall of Cardiovascular Diseases”, University of Oxford


About the Falling Walls Foundation

The Falling Walls Foundation is a non-profit organisation that fosters the discussion on research and innovation and promotes the latest scientific findings among a broad audience from all parts of society. It organises the Falling Walls Conference, an annual global gathering of forward-thinking individuals from over 75 countries. Each year on 9 November, 20 of the world’s leading scientists present their current breakthrough research in 15 minutes each. The Falling Walls Foundation is supported by the German Ministry for Education and Research, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Helmholtz Association, the Berlin Senate for Economics, Technology and Research and numerous other acclaimed academic institutions, foundations, and companies. Visit for more information, a short film and the lectures of the past years.


About A.T. Kearney

A.T. Kearney is a global team of forward-thinking partners that delivers immediate impact and growing advantage for its clients. We are passionate problem solvers who excel in collaborating across borders to co-operate and realize elegantly simple, practical, and sustainable results. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on the most mission-critical issues to the world’s leading organizations across all major industries and service sectors. A.T. Kearney has 57 offices located in major business centers across 39 countries. Further information at


About KWS

KWS is one of the world's leading plant breeding companies. More than 4,400 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of over €1.1 Billion in the fiscal 2012/13. For more than 150 years KWS has been managed as a family oriented and independent company. Main areas of its work are the breeding of varieties and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugar beet, cereals, potatoes, oil-seed rape and sunflower. 15 % of its annual sales is invested in research and development. KWS uses state-of-the-art plant breeding methods and technologies to continuously improve variety yields and resistances to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. Further information on KWS is available online at


Mandy Schnell 
Leitung Öffentlichkeitsarbeit 
Tel. +49-5561-311-334 




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