Evaluation of the Funding Programme "Falling Walls Conference and Circle"

Since 2009, the Falling Walls Conference has been held annually on the day the Berlin Wall fell (09.11.). The target group are renowned scientists from all over the world whose research targets socially significant issues and who develop solutions for "grand challenges".

Other formats of the Falling Walls are associated with the conference: Circle (global forum for selected scientific strategists and visionaries), Venture (competition for science-based start-ups), Lab (promotion of young scientists) and Engage (competition for dialogue-oriented projects).

The two formats Falling Walls Conference and Falling Walls Circle are the subject of this evaluation. In addition to summative questions on the achievement of objectives, impact, cost-effectiveness and positioning in the national and international environment, the evaluation also addresses recommendations for the further development of the formats, specifically for programme implementation in 2020 (Phase 1). There is a possibility for funding a second phase with a focus on implementation in 2021.


  • Ex-post evaluation of goal attainment and effects of previous project funding
  • Accompanying evaluation of current project funding
  • Placement of the two formats Conference and Circle in international comparison (benchmarking)
  • Investigation of the interplay between Conferene and Circle and the other Falling Walls formats Lab, Venture and Engage
  • Identification of optimization potentials as well as elaboration of recommendations for action to further develop the funding format


  • Logic chart analysis
  • Document analysis (internal programme documents)
  • Analysis of the (scientific) environment
  • Online survey of participants
  • Guided interviews with different stakeholders and target groups
  • Participatory observation
  • Analysis of the public / media discourse
  • Secondary statistical impact analysis


  • Evaluation of the goal attainment and effects of Falling Walls Conference and Circle
  • Assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation/administration practices including economic efficiency
  • Recommendations for action for the future development of funding


Phase 1: 1.2020-12.2020
Phase 2: 1.2021-12.2021


Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)


com.X Institut