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On 21 September 2021, New Zealand held an online Falling Walls Lab event with presenters from around New Zealand.

The livestream video of the presentations are available to watch on Royal Society Te Apārangi YouTube channel from 2021 Falling Walls Lab New Zealand.

Full programme

2021 Falling Walls Presentations:

Name Organisation Presentation title Problem Solution

Abigail Bland

University of Otago Breaking the Wall of Chemotherapy-Induced Cardiotoxicity  Doxorubicin and many other chemotherapeutic agents produce severe cardiotoxicity, resulting in dose reductions and potentially the reoccurrence of the tumour.  Low doses of carbon monoxide (CO) have been shown to have cardioprotective effects and our lab has designed a series of novel CO releasing molecules which may alleviate the cardiotoxicity problem. 
Alba Suárez García

University of Otago Breaking the Wall of Credited Content 

Problem with popular games: no real-life enriching outcomes and rewards.

Unified multimedia space which showcases individuals' meaning-making experiences through credited content, levelling up through engagement in order to unlock achievements and earn rewarding prizes.
Armano Papageorge

Victoria University of Wellington  Breaking the Wall of the New Zealand Housing Crisis   For over a decade there has been an urgent need to improve productivity and efficiency within the construction industry.   Investing in the research and development of a new construction technology - concrete 3D printing. 
Charlotte Milne Auckland Museum  Breaking the Wall of Public Engagement
with Child Wellbeing   
NZ is not always a good place to grow up with many communities having poorer wellbeing than others. Past public engagement has been limited, with many unaware of the barriers and enablers of wellbeing.  Collaboration between researchers and museums can allow effective public engagement. Using new engagement methods can increase NZ child wellbeing, making NZ the best place in the world to be a child. 
Dr Ferdinand Oswald University of Auckland  Breaking the Wall of Sustainability with Gradient Concrete – Raima Rōnaki   Aotearoa NZ urgently needs a climate change response from the building and construction sector to safeguard our precious natural environment.  The missing technology for implementation in New Zealand, is the development of connection details of gradient concrete components (floor plate and wall), especially for geotechnical requirements. 
Dr Hamid Abbasi University of Auckland  Breaking the Wall of Imprecision
in Neurosurgical Resection  
Brain tumor removal is a highly sensitive task where cutting the intricate edges of the tumor may involve accidental surgical error and cause irreversible damage to the bordering intact brain tissues.  Simultaneous infusion of high-resolution 3D MRI scans and real-time ultra HD images of the surgical zone into a pioneer machine-learning technology allows to precisely identify edges during surgery. 
Jaime Lara Aguayo University of Auckland  Breaking the Wall of Myoelectric Interfaces   Currently, robotic prosthetics that rely on inputs from muscle signals to control their movement allow for a very limited degree of control that is often cumbersome and unintuitive.  Develop high-density electromyography (HD-EMG) electrodes to improve the spatial resolution of the recorded signals, achieving more accurate and natural interfaces for prosthetic control. 
Jessica Fitzjohn  University of Canterbury  Breaking the Wall of Breast Screening Inequity High-cost mammography screening results in a lack of access to care for all, poor compliance and limited age bracket for screening due to controversial radiation exposure and patient discomfort.  Digital Image Elasto Tomography (DIET) can provide low-cost, non-invasive, breast cancer screening, which is comfortable and safe for all. This will increase equity, compliance and reduce mortality. 
Lewis Green University of Auckland Breaking the Wall of Immunotherapy
via Immunogenic Cell Death  
In today's society, many types of cancer are still poorly treated. This is an unacceptable fact that means those diagnosed with such a cancer have little hope for a favourable treatment outcome.  Our immune system possesses an immense ability to keep us healthy. With the aid of chemotherapeutics, this ability can be unlocked and utilised to the most deadly forms of cancer. 
Muhammad Rehan Massey University Breaking the Wall of Gut Sampling 8-million people die every year due to gut related diseases, and the tools to fully diagnose the gut are not available. Faecal samples are used as a proxy but lacks spatial and temporal information.   Goal is to develop a 'pill-sized robotic capsule' to collect microbiota (microorganisms and bacteria) samples from the gut without contamination, which will help in diagnosis of gut related diseases. 
Dr Nick Smith Riddet Institute Breaking the Wall of Sustainable Global Nutrition The current global food system does not deliver adequate nutrition. Widespread undernutrition and increasing overnutrition are coupled with the need to feed an ever increasing global population.  A digital simulation model for the global food system that can identify where nutrition is inadequate and what changes are necessary to forge an equitable, sustainable food system. 
Sachira Kuruppu University of Auckland Breaking the Wall of Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric ischemia remains a challenging condition to diagnose. It has a high rate of mortality due to misdiagnosis.  Use spatiotemporal variations in bioelectrical and contractile activities to objectively identify ischemic intestinal segments.
Dr Samarth The New Zealand Institute
of Plant and Food Research
Breaking the Wall of Long-term Plant Memory Masting causes an exponential increase in predatory animals resulting in heavy predation of endemic birds annually. Accurate prediction of a masting year will help in predator management programs.  Characterisation of the intrinsic plant memory driving flowering in masting plants using molecular tools to develop a novel model to better predict masting events in the face of climate change.