JLABS BLUE KNIGHT QuickFire Challenge: Next-Generation Preparedness Solutions
Closing Date: 22/07/2022
Challenge aiming to find novel ideas or technologies that aim to enhance preparedness towards future known and unknown infectious disease threats.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum (including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health tech sectors) to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS is part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.
JLABS periodically launches JLABS QuickFire Challenges. These global challenges support working with local partners for innovation and empower innovative scientists, companies and entrepreneurs to seek comprehensive and integrated solutions that hold the potential of improving the health of people around the world, particularly in areas of significant global impact on people’s health. These competitions call for early-stage innovators to apply for a chance to win research grants, access to lab spaces, exposure to the innovation community and other startups, global industry networking opportunities, mentorship and coaching from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and its partners.
Within the framework of the ‘BLUE KNIGHT QuickFire Challenge: Next-Generation Preparedness Solutions’, innovators are invited to submit ground-breaking ideas or technologies that aim to enhance preparedness towards future known and unknown infectious disease threats. The challenge is a joint initiative of Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Innovators must be developing potential preparedness solutions addressing at least one of the following QuickFire Challenge focus areas:
- Targeting the host response to known and unknown future infectious disease threats, with interest in:
- Technologies that allow for the identification of potential biomarker associations leading to long-term morbidities resulting from infectious disease (eg exposure/epitope profiling, signaling pathways, autoantibody profiling), including mechanisms, potential targets for treatment, and patient stratification.
- Host-directed therapeutics that restore homeostasis of the host response to infection (either during active infection or after infection) or to improve directionality towards homeostasis.
- Technologies that leverage the potential links between pathogen exposure and autoimmunity to improve patient outcomes, including modulating the immune system after respiratory distress.
- Enabling streamlined manufacturing of therapeutics and/or vaccines, with interest in:
- Platforms and technologies with the potential to increase shelf-life and/or reduce the reliance on cold chain.
- Technologies that enhance vaccine manufacturing by improving efficiency, scalability, and/or sustainability.
- Nucleic acid manufacturing technologies, including optimisation of cell expression or cell free systems, formulation, and/or purification technologiess
- Leveraging the host microbiome, with interest in:
- Microbiome-based (including gut, lung, or skin) therapeutics or preventatives that rely on immunomodulation (eg elicit innate immune system, imprinting the immune system to train innate immunity, downregulation of inflammatory responses), including those that address multi-organ issues or train the microbiome of paediatric populations to be more resilient to the severity of infectious diseases.