First ECN Open Innovation in Science Award

Innovation and science have a high priority in Germany. Sharing knowledge, opening up to the ideas of others, working together to drive innovation - this is what Open Innovation describes, but Open Innovation has also found its way into science. Some of the objectives are to make research more transparent and improve the quality of scientific work.

Therefore, the Einstein Center for Neuroscience Berlin (ECN) has set the goal of strengthening the field of Open Innovation in Science (OIS) in the neurosciences. The announcement of the OIS Award is a further step in this direction.

ECN OIS Award 2019

The OIS Award is an integrative element of the ECN’s PhD program. ECN PhD students submit to the OIS Award as part of their PhD training.

The OIS Prize is intended to support the development and implementation of OIS project ideas.


We have received 12 project proposals for the 2019 call.
The interdisciplinary jury has selected a shortlist from the 12 applications received.

The jury was made up as follows:



  • Anna-Lena Eckert & Lara Wieland
  • Gisela Govaart
  • Majed Kikhia
  • Robert Lange
  • Sara Moberg

All shortlisted candidates received a pitch workshop. On the day of the award ceremony the selected candidates had to present their projects in a 3-minutes pitch. The event was public.


Award Ceremony: Thursday, October 10, 2019
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Charité CrossOver Building (CCO),
Charité Campus Mitte,
Charitéplatz 1 
10117 Berlin
Moderation: Elisabeth Mayerhofer (Virtuelle PH, Vienna, Austria)


The two winning teams received 5.000€ each from the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft for further development of their projects.

Gisela Govaart
Topic: Speaker Variability - A Crowd Science Approach

The OIS project will focus on the effects of speaker variability on phoneme processing in adults, in order to probe in which way phoneme representations are stored. With this project, she aims to get a ‘proof of concept’ for the adult mind, which she can subsequently test in infants. This will benefit her infant studies, because she can then compare whether and when infants start to build and use adult-like representations.
More information (video on YouTube)

Anna-Lena Eckert & Lara Wieland
Topic: Behavioral experiments & imaging techniques as fMRI in schizophrenia patients

The OIS project will focus on patients with schizophrenia. They will put the computational account of schizophrenia through a thorough test across the cortical hierarchy and perceptual domains, using behavioral experiments and imaging techniques such as fMRI. 
More information (video on YouTube)

Majed Kikhia
Topic: Improving the scientific value of preclinical stroke literature
More information (video on YouTube)

Robert Lange
Topic: „Deep Swarm Shepherding - Benevolent Adaptation of Collective Behavior“

More information (video on YouTube)

Sara Moberg
Topic: PT-neuron-targeting subcortical structures in the context of conscious perception of a sensory stimulus
More information (video on YouTube)


ECN OIS Award Ceremony 2019, Winner: Gisela Govaart, Anna-Lena Eckert & Lara Wieland