The Blue Knight Story
We live in an interconnected, global ecosystem where collaboration can be the key to a safer world. By working together, we strive to secure a future where we can all live healthier, safer lives from the day we are born and throughout each and every day.
As we continue to combat 21st century health threats and emerging infectious diseases, the path to better prepared, protected, and healthy individuals, families, and communities could rely on unlocking the collective power of the global community.
Blue Knight seeks to answer this call.
This partnership was created between Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Blue Knight is a collaboration dedicated to anticipating potential health security threats, activating the global innovation community, and amplifying scientific and technological advancements with the aim to prepare for and respond to our rapidly evolving global health environment.
Through expert programming and residency opportunities, Blue Knight aims to stimulate innovation and incubation of technologies and medical countermeasures (MCMs) to improve health security and our nation’s response to medical threats and emerging infectious diseases.
The inaugural Blue Knight Symposium was convened on December 8-10, 2020. All sessions are now available for on-demand viewing. To watch, register or login to the Blue Knight Symposium event page.
“Our clinical stage COVID-19 program is a direct result of the JLABS ‘culture of collaboration’ at work.
With companies in the local innovation ecosystem, including a fellow JLABS @ TMC resident with expertise in AI-based technologies, 7 Hills Pharma was able to quickly identify and deploy vaccination studies for a promising antigen-based treatment targeted to combat SARS-CoV-2. As an active participant in BLUE KNIGHT™, 7 Hills Pharma hopes to continue this knowledge sharing and perhaps aid other Blue Knight companies in advancing their COVID-19 medical countermeasures.”
“By leveraging a new class of CRISPR-related proteins, we aim to develop an off-the-shelf therapeutic that can be used to rapidly respond to emerging or mutating RNA respiratory threats. As a BLUE KNIGHT™ company, we are eager to access expert mentorship from BARDA and JLABS to help establish proof-of-concept for our novel, potential therapy to treat COVID-19 infection and move quickly into the next phases of development and commercialization.”
“As part of the BLUE KNIGHT™, we seek to accelerate Persephone Biosciences’ COVID-19 program which looks to harness the body’s microbiome to boost the effectiveness of vaccine technologies. In addition to the connections offered by the JLABS global network, we believe BARDA will enable valuable interactions with thought leaders in the field to help guide our research.”
“By participating in BLUE KNIGHT™, we hope to gain valuable expert insights to help guide the completion of our requirements toward FDA approval of our remote monitoring technology and to ultimately design a go-to-market strategy that will enable our company to deliver a remote monitoring solution for the early detection of respiratory challenges.”
First introduced in conjunction with the announcement of JLABS @ Washington, DC, Blue Knight will expand its residency opportunities beyond the nation’s capital by extending the Blue Knight footprint to other JLABS locations in New York City, San Diego, and Toronto.
Blue Knight companies are eligible to receive access to JLABS resources and programming along with dedicated mentorship from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and BARDA.
Blue Knight residency applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
The Johnson & Johnson Innovation and BARDA collaboration seeks to reach the global innovation ecosystem through customized educational programming aligned with key areas of mutual interest in infectious disease threats and public health. Blue Knight programs will take place globally in collaboration with JLABS around the world.
Additionally, JLABS and BARDA will host a series of Blue Knight symposia to convene thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs working to improve our nation’s response capacity and capabilities to address 21st century health security threats. Future dates to be confirmed.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS is collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to form a joint initiative called BLUE KNIGHT™ to support innovation in mutual areas of interest.
The goal of the Blue Knight collaboration is to stimulate innovation and incubation of technologies that aim to improve our nation’s health security and emergency preparedness through the support of companies working towards solutions to protect us from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats (including terrorist attacks), as well as pandemic influenza, Coronavirus, and other emerging infectious diseases.
Blue Knight hopes that by creating an ecosystem of innovation focused on improving our emergency response capacity and capabilities in these areas, that we will be better able to address these 21st century health security threats.
As part of Blue Knight, residency will be provided for eligible companies as well as dedicated mentorship and access to customized programming aligned with key areas of interest in infectious disease, public health and company acceleration. Blue Knight programming and symposia are accessible to the broader innovation community.
BLUE KNIGHT™ companies selected for residency will reside within the JLABS locations in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Diego and Toronto.
BLUE KNIGHT™ will provide residency for eligible companies focused on the development of potential vaccines, technologies and therapies dedicated to improving the speed and effectiveness of our response to existing and emerging health security threats.
Apply for residency in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Diego and Toronto online here.
BLUE KNIGHT™ companies will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Compelling and credible science and/or technology that has the potential to change the trajectory of health
- Strategic alignment with Johnson & Johnson and BARDA areas of focus
- Addressing an area of significant unmet need
- Demonstrating a strong team and financial solvency
During the Application process, you will be asked to submit only non-confidential materials. If possible, we suggest including the following information:
- Information on your science/technology, including competitive differentiation
- Team background, experience, and expertise
- The goals you are trying to achieve while in JLABS
- Funding information
Blue Knight applications will be evaluated by a team of JLABS reviewers in consultation with BARDA. BARDA experts are not involved in other JLABS residency selections.
If your company is not selected for residency through BLUE KNIGHT™, you may re-apply at a later date. Your company can also apply for residency at any JLABS site through the JLABS residency application.
BLUE KNIGHT™ companies will have access to the JLABS ecosystem, including modular lab units, office space, shared core laboratory equipment and business facilities based on the availability at the location of residency, as well as intangible offerings outlined below.
Benefits unique to Blue Knight companies include:
- Fee assistance for certain costs associated with access to JLABS equipment and resources, which will be covered by BARDA
- Dedicated equipment for Blue Knight companies will be available at select Blue Knight locations.
- Blue Knight residents will receive dedicated mentorship from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and BARDA in mutual areas of interest.
- Throughout the year, BARDA and JLABS will co-sponsor programming customized to the needs of Blue Knight companies, aligned with key areas of interest in infectious disease, public health emergency preparedness, and company acceleration.
- Blue Knight companies will be invited to participate in annual symposia designed to convene the Blue Knight community with thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Visit https://jlabshub.splashthat.com/ for additional information on scheduled Blue Knight programming across the global JLABS sites.
The infrastructure benefits and intangible offerings available to all JLABS resident companies, including Blue Knight residents, include:
- Flexible office workstations and office spaces
- Core research labs containing shared equipment
- Flexible, turnkey, modular dry lab and wet lab units for biology and chemistry
- Operations teams that handle the day-to-day activities (facilities, equipment, safety, operations), allowing companies to focus on the science
- Business services team to provide support as the company matures
- Global Connect: telepresence system connecting to the JLABS ecosystem and to other J&J sites around the world
- Year-round commercialization curriculum
- JPAL Program: Access to a mentor program, tailored to the specific focus area and needs of each JLABS resident company.
- Resource Hub: Preferred pricing from external partners to provide a strong community of resources for our residents.
- Investor Hub: Both local and global investors committed to on-site and virtual interactions with JLABS portfolio companies on a monthly/quarterly basis.
- JLABS Programming: Programs that allow JLABS resident companies, alumni, and the innovation ecosystem to make connections and gain valuable insights through workshops, networking events and more.
- Portfolio: Highlight the JLABS portfolio of companies internally to the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies as well as externally. Events include the Global CEO Summit (onsite event for networking and programming for JLABS Company CEOs, JPALS, Investors, Vendors, Partners and J&J Leadership), and the Inside Scoop Series (three-minute pitches for all resident companies who recently joined JLABS)
Financial costs may depend on the location of residency. For BLUE KNIGHT™ companies, fee assistance for costs associated with access to JLABS equipment and resources, are covered by BARDA.
Each applicant will be required to submit to a background check, which is subject to a minimal fee. There may be other expenses, but this will be dependent on the work that the company is doing in JLABS. There may also be fees associated with EH&S waste, specialty equipment, printing and phone calls.
The JLABS and BARDA collaboration seeks to reach the global innovation ecosystem through customized educational programming aligned with key areas of joint interest in infectious disease, public health, medical countermeasures, and company acceleration. For a full listing of JLABS global programming visit https://jlabshub.splashthat.com/.
Additionally, JLABS and BARDA seek to host symposia to convene the BLUE KNIGHT™ community with thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs working to bolster our response capacity and capabilities to address 21st century health security threats. Future dates to be confirmed.
New innovations are needed to help healthcare systems better prepare and respond to pandemics and the growing emergence of other potential global health security threats. By working in partnership with the public sector, we aim to accelerate the development and availability of solutions to help protect communities from new and emerging threats.
This arrangement builds on established collaborations between Johnson & Johnson and BARDA that aim to accelerate potential therapies and vaccines to protect communities against these threats.
Through BARDA’s commitment to BLUE KNIGHT™, BARDA and JLABS are further leveraging their expertise and resources with the aim to develop programs and initiatives that catalyze a new community of entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders committed to meeting the nation’s medical countermeasure needs.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation and BARDA selected 7 companies from across the global JLABS portfolio for their promising work to fill gaps in the current set of available COVID-19 diagnostic, therapeutic, vaccine, and other technology potential solutions.
These start-up companies will be the first cohort to enter the BLUE KNIGHT™ collaboration, providing ‘surge force’ support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim to accelerate the development of their potential solutions to the patients, frontline healthcare workers and communities who need them.
For a full list of Blue Knight companies click here.