The Falling Walls competition is an opportunity for researchers to present their innovative ideas and projects to the international scientific community
Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum, and stepping stone that brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary pool of students and early-career professionals by providing a stage for breakthrough ideas both globally and locally. Throughout the year, renowned academic institutions around the world host international Falling Walls Labs to showcase the quality, diversity, and passion of their region’s most innovative minds. The winners of each local event will meet to compete in the annual Falling Walls Lab Finale, that this year will take place in Berlin on 7-9 November, within the Falling Walls Science Summit.
For its part, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme of the European Commission has organised an internal competition and has selected 15 finalists among MSCA researchers (including ITN, IF, RISE and COFUND) from all over the world and from all research areas. The doctoral researcher Kandeel Shafique, beneficiary of a grant within the URV’s Martí i Franquès COFUND programme, and member of the Electronic, Electric and Automatic Engineering Department, is one of the 15 finalists. Now, the Commission is offering to the candidates coaching sessions with professional trainers who will help the candidates to practise their communication and storytelling skills.
Shafique will travel to Paris on May 24 to defend her proposal. The event will take place at Université Paris Science & Lettres, as part of the MSCA conference organised in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In three minutes each participant will have to present their solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time to peers, a jury of experts from academia and business, and the general public, and also they will have to answer live questions from them. Falling Walls Lab MSCA will nominate 3 finalists plus an audience prize. All 4 finalists will receive a prize and the winner will participate in the global Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin where they will compete to become the Breakthrough Winner of the Year in the Emerging Talents category.
Kandeel Shafique obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biosciences from National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad (NUST) and her Master’s degree in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). After her graduation, she worked as a research officer in NUST on an industrial project focused on developing a cost-effective point-of-care device for detection of viral infections. Her interests focus on microbiology and immunology, and more specifically on innovation and development of bio-inspired solutions to improve the global healthcare system. Now Shafique is carrying out the doctoral thesis “Rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tools to fight infectious diseases” under the supervision of Dr Beatriz Prieto-Simón, within the URV’s PhD Programme Technologies for Nanosystems, Bioengineering and Energy. The main aim of her thesis is to generate a highly sensitive, label-free electrochemical sensing platform for early diagnosis of infectious agents causing life-threatening diseases in both humans and animals.