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Expanding the Early-Stage Medical Device Ecosystem: JLABS @ M2D2 QuickFire Challenge Seeks Best Device Innovation


Today’s medical device advances are no longer just iterations of the surgical tools that have been used for decades. We are now seeing companies that can 3D-print patient-specific scaffolds to allow tissue integration for bone healing, and develop sealants to provide surgeons added assurance of reducing post-operative leaks. These and other medical innovations – previously unimagined – continue to improve the outlook for and health of patients.

At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe the next great idea can come from anywhere – and that it’s just as likely to come from outside of our walls as from inside our research labs. That’s why Johnson & Johnson Innovation is excited to announce JLABS @ M2D2, our accelerator initiative in partnership with the northeast region’s premier medtech incubator, University of Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) in Lowell, Massachusetts. JLABS @ M2D2 is our seventh JLABS facility and the first specifically focused on the early-stage medical device ecosystem.

With 35 current resident companies and another 50 active virtual resident companies, UMass Lowell’s M2D2 facility has been a lifeline for early-stage medical device companies around Massachusetts since it was founded in 2007. M2D2 provides residents with assistance from idea to market, including clinical pathway assistance, business planning, prototype development, and more. With access to the UMass Lowell’s Plastics Engineering Department, an internationally recognized leader in both its undergraduate and graduate programs, and UMass Medical School, committed to advancing health and well-being worldwide, M2D2 operates at the intersection of engineering and medicine.

The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies have a successful history of creating new markets, delivering breakthrough innovation and establishing strong partnerships built on a shared vision. JLABS @ M2D2 cements our commitment to support entrepreneurs and companies working to advance rapid prototyping and advanced development in life science and medical devices. The partnership of our two renowned institutions made JLABS @ M2D2 a natural fit, and one that will elevate early-stage medical technology development in the Greater Boston region.

To attract even more game-changing innovation, we’re also excited to announce the JLABS @ M2D2 QuickFire Challenge, which will award one year of paid residence at M2D2 and access to mentorship and coaching from Johnson & Johnson Innovation experts to the person or team that submits the best medical device idea, technology, or solution that will address a critical health need for the world's population.

Our areas of interest for medical devices include:

· Surgery

· Orthopedics

· Vision Care

· Diabetes

· Cardiovascular

· Neurovascular

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2017, and the winner will be announced on May 1, 2017. For more information, go to http://jlabs.jnjinnovation.com/quickfire-challenges/current-challenges.

JLABS and M2D2 share many of the same values. We look forward to working together to support the innovation ecosystem by providing expertise across the medical device landscape through our deep history in regulatory compliance for medical devices, by navigating our partners across the funding landscape and by producing high-quality programming for early-stage companies.

By Ibraheem Badejo, Senior Director, Medical Device New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation