Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Launch Next-Gen Baby Box QuickFire Challenge in Collaboration with Sitra, Tekes and VTT

Challenge seeks ideas and solutions to celebrate 80th anniversary of Finnish Baby Box and spur innovation to promote child health and healthy parenting

08 Jun, 2017, 01:00 ET from Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies

HELSINKI, Finland, June, 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, in collaboration with Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, announced today the launch of the Next-Gen Baby Box QuickFire Challenge focused on creating "the Baby Box of the future" to promote child health, detect childhood disease earlier and facilitate healthy parenting. Select finalists will receive up to $350,000 in funding and be provided structured mentorship to help develop and pitch their ideas. Through this collaborative initiative, Sitra, an independent public fund which under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament promotes the welfare of Finnish society, Tekes, a publicly-funded expert organization financing research, development and innovation in Finland, and VTT, the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries, together with Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, are focused on creating a better ecosystem for child health.

"The Baby Box is a Finnish innovation that has been distributed to new mothers for 80 years with successful results, as infant and maternity mortality rates are among the lowest worldwide," said Pekka Ihalmo, Public Affairs Manager, Janssen-Cilag Oy. "We are greatly inspired by these effects that the Baby Box has had on Finnish babies' and their parents' wellbeing. With this challenge, we and our Finnish partners are calling for ideas and innovations to create a concept of what the Baby Box of the next generation might look like."

The QuickFire Challenges, initially launched by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS—the no strings attached incubators of Johnson & Johnson Innovation—seek to empower and enable ground-breaking science and health solutions, encouraging various stakeholders – students, entrepreneurs, researchers, start-up companies, etc. – to apply. This challenge, in particular, will focus on the following innovation areas:

1. Promoting child health:

  • "Ease and extend" breast-feeding.
  • Healthy sleep habits.

2. Detecting childhood illness and disease earlier:

  • Home-based detection of high blood sugar associated with onset of type 1 diabetes.
  • Home-based assessment of severity and progression of respiratory diseases in infants and toddlers.

3. Facilitating healthy parenting:

  • Emotional and physical well-being of parents and coping skills.
  • Parenting or bonding with newborns and infants.

The competition is part of Janssen's strategic focus to create a world without disease, shifting the paradigm from treating disease to maintaining health through prevention, interception and cure.  

"We're deepening our understanding of how both genetic and environmental triggers in early life can impact long-term health, so that we may intervene earlier and maintain wellness, including at birth," said Ben Wiegand, Global Head, World Without Disease Accelerator, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.  "We believe that great science can happen anywhere and look forward to seeing the proposed innovations from the scientific community as we collaborate with our Finnish partners to work toward creating a world free from disease."

The QuickFire Challenge will unfold in three phases:

  1. Following submissions, select finalist(s) may receive up to $250,000 in funding and be provided structured mentorship.  Finalists will pitch their ideas at Slush, Europe's leading start-up and technology event, on November 30, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland.  
  2. Winner(s) may be offered a contractual collaboration to develop their science/technology with the goal of piloting in Finland over the next 1-2 years.
  3. Winner(s) with the most impact through the pilot studies may receive additional funding up to $100,000 to support commercialization with a goal of proof of concept by 2020.

The deadline to submit is August 18, 2017. For more information about the QuickFire Challenge (including the terms and conditions of entry), please visit: www.jlabs.jnjinnovation.com/quickfire-challenges

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at Twitter.com/JanssenGlobal.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson's global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers, JLABS, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. and our Business Development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. For more information please visit www.jnjinnovation.com.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS
Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS achieves this by providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow. At JLABS we value great ideas and are passionate about removing obstacles to success to help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries. JLABS is a no-strings-attached model, which means entrepreneurs are free to develop their science while holding on to their intellectual property. JLABS is open to entrepreneurs across a broad healthcare spectrum including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health sectors.

JLABS currently has eight locations in innovation hot spots across North America and produces entrepreneurial programs and campaigns to seek out the best science, like the QuickFire Challenges around the globe. The JLABS flagship opened in 2012 in San Diego at Janssen's West Coast Research Center, and since then, has established two locations in San Francisco - one through a collaboration with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and a second standalone facility in South San Francisco. JLABS is also located in Boston through a collaboration with LabCentral, in Lowell, Massachusetts through a collaboration with UMass, in Houston through a collaboration with the Texas Medical Center (TMC), in Toronto through a collaboration with the Ontario Government and the University of Toronto and a new JLABS @ NYC (in collaboration with the New York Genome Center) opening in 2018.

SOURCE Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies



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