press release
Published: 07 September 2018

Surrey hosts UK Falling Walls Lab recognising innovative young minds

On 3 September the University hosted its first Falling Walls Lab, a unique competition which showcases the quality, diversity, and passion of the region's most innovative young minds, promising scientists and entrepreneurs.

A group photo of the judges and pitchers in the Falling Walls Lab 2018
Credit: Paul Stead

The event – the only UK Lab for 2018 --saw an audience of more than 100 people watch with fascination as 14 participants pitched their ground-breaking ideas, research projects or social initiatives in just three minutes, in front of peers and a distinguished jury drawn from UK academia and business.

The University’s Incubation and Student Enterprise team provided pitching and presentation training to all 14 participants, which helped them to hone their key messages and engage the audience as quickly and effectively as possible.

While the audience voted for their favourite pitch, singers from Guildford School of Acting, one of the most highly regarded theatre schools in the UK, entertained the audience with a medley of musical theatre hits.

Sarah Campbell from the University of Surrey won the audience vote, with her inventive pitch on addressing mental health using music.

Following much deliberation, Nicolette Formosa from Loughborough University was then announced as the jury’s winner, with her imaginative and practical pitch around intelligent vehicles. As the winner of this regional heat, Nicolette will go on to the Global Lab Finale held in Berlin on 8 November, for a chance to share her idea with the world’s movers and shakers of science, business, the arts and policy-making and to compete for the title of "Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year".

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