A Night of Broken Walls and Rising Stars

September 9th 2016, was the date set for the 3rd edition of the ‘Falling Walls Sendai’. The event is built around the concept of innovation through young minds and eradicating, if possible, any existing preconceptions in the academia and the world.

From environmental programs to new technologies, 12 young entrepreneurs from 7 different countries were welcomed by the president of Tohoku University, Dr. Susumu Satomi and Mr. Shigenori Oyama, President of the NEC TOKIN Corporation who, would later serve as the master of ceremonies.

Filled with enthusiasm, hope and a noticeable amount of stress, the participants made their voices echo throughout the Tokyo Electron House of creativity in Katahira. Once concluded, every presentation was followed by a Q&A section that could last up to 6 minutes and was intended to scrutinise each and every aspect of the idea presented and some questions were even answered with silence. However, the toughest work of the night, judging the projects and research proposals, was reserved to distinguished jury consisting of professors, consultants, and executives from all over the world.

After the presentations were completed, the tortuous waiting for the results began. What seemed to be an endless wait for the speakers, which was about 50 min, every member of the jury gave a small motivational speech and encouraged every participant to work hard for bringing down the walls that need to be broken in the current world.  The winners, Dr. Natt Leelawat, Post-Doctoral student at the International research Institute of Disaster Science of Tohoku University had presented the idea of a new mobile phone app to coordinate evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami. For the second place,  Mr. Delta Putra, undergraduate student at the School of Agriculture of Tohoku University came up with a bioluminescent solution to the public lighting challenge of the current big cities and for the third place it was Ms. Maryamsadat Hosseini, graduate student at the School of Engineering of Tohoku University with a novel, patented technology for electronic devices. These 3 rising stars shall be travelling to Berlin this November 8th to represent their countries, their laboratories and Tohoku University at the world competition of the Falling Walls.

For further information about future editions and the application process, please refer to the official webpage (http://www.tfc.tohoku.ac.jp/fwls/).

Manuel Campos

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