Johnson & Johnson Innovation accelerates early stage innovation through strategic partnership. By connecting the best science and technology entrepreneurs to our global resources and expertise, we take on the world’s toughest healthcare challenges and aim to improve the health of everyone, everywhere.
We connect potential collaborators to world-leading resources and aim to support them to advance transformation science and technology across the spectrum of pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer healthcare. Similarly, we collaborate widely across many groups, partnerships, consortia and research agreements to accelerate progress in ways that no company can achieve alone.
William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Chief External Innovation and Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson
Activating health innovators and entrepreneurs through our JLABS QuickFire Challenges is an effective way to advance research and practical innovation to address a range of unmet medical needs. The QuickFire Challenge is a crowdsourcing platform committed to identifying and cultivating potential health solutions to change the trajectory of healthcare.
Many QuickFire Challenges champion health equity by seeking to identify potential solutions that serve historically under-resourced communities and reaching a wide range of diverse scientists, researchers and innovators from around the world.
In 2022, 10 new QuickFire Challenges were launched and four challenges from 2021 were completed.
Our Advancing Health Equity QuickFire Challenge received submissions focused on enabling inclusive clinical trial design and equitable clinical decision making, implementing community-based early diagnostics and education of patients and providers to advance health equity. Three awardees received grant funding from a total pool of $400,000, access to the global JLABS network and mentorship from experts across Johnson & Johnson.
QuickFire Challenge awardees in 2022 included 35% women-led teams and 20% teams led by people of color. Four QuickFire Challenges launched in 2022 were specifically health equity focused, with grant funding from a total pool of $1.55 million awarded to 14 teams.
Our 2022 Maternal-Fetal Immune Disorders QuickFire Challenge
Innovating for Health Equity sought to improve immune-mediated pregnancy outcomes in mothers and children from BIPOC communities. The challenge awarded a total of $500,000 in grant funding to two promising organizations that aim to advance health equity by addressing unmet medical needs in pregnancy care.
Our 2022 Vets QuickFire Challenge
Lung Cancer & Physical Trauma reflected our commitment to keeping veterans healthy and advancing healthcare innovation for the benefit of the military community. The Challenge sought ideas to directly address the unique healthcare needs of the military community, including lung cancer and physical trauma, and made grants totaling $500,000 to six awardees, three focusing on lung cancer and three offering solutions to address physical trauma.
Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge: In September 2022, Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge awardees siRNAgen Therapeutics and Portrai were recognized at the Seoul International Biomedical Conference. To help advance their science, both companies received KRW 75,000,000 in grant funding, two years of residency at the Seoul Bio Hub, access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s APAC ecosystem and mentorship from experts across Johnson & Johnson.
Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge
In September 2022, Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge awardees siRNAgen Therapeutics and Portrai were recognized at the Seoul International Biomedical Conference. To help advance their science, both companies received KRW 75,000,000 in grant funding, two years of residency at the Seoul Bio Hub, access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s APAC ecosystem and mentorship from experts across Johnson & Johnson.
Promoting diversity in healthcare startups
Through our Johnson & Johnson Innovation ecosystem, we are empowering healthcare startups to embrace DEI in the early stages of their company’s life—when they are creating their identity, research focus and approach, and culture. To this end, in 2022, we introduced the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Health Equity Assessment Tool (HEAT) to more than 550 Johnson & Johnson Innovation collaborating companies as a voluntary survey designed to help early stage innovators benchmark their health equity maturity and how they are considering health disparities in their company leadership, potential healthcare solutions and delivery. The self-assessment is paired with the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Health Equity e-Learning Module to raise awareness and help establish a baseline understanding before completion. The e-Learning Module is also available to the public.
We also introduced the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Board Fellows program, a one-year, multifaceted education, executive coaching and mentorship program that will help strengthen our diverse candidacy for potential board leadership positions. In June 2022, the inaugural class of five Johnson & Johnson Innovation Board Fellows began their one-year program. The Board Fellows are paired with JJDC mentors to help them further understand developmental opportunities and achieve their full potential as potential Board Directors.