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 joint initiative 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, mentorship and residency opportunities, Blue Knight aims to stimulate a pipeline of innovative, early-stage startups that are strategically aligned to mutual areas of interest between BARDA and the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, while also supporting the advancement of end-to-end, adjunct solutions with the potential to address innovation gaps along the development pathway and the continuum of care.

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.

Residency

BLUE KNIGHT™ offers physical residency at select Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’) locations, as well as a virtual engagement option. Physical residency is available at:

  • JLABS @ Washington, DC, the hub Blue Knight location with a dedicated footprint for selected companies
  • Additional JLABS locations in Houston, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Toronto
  • JPODS and Affiliate Sites in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco

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.

Apply now

Residency Map
JLABS @ San Diego Visit
JLABS @ Washington, DC Visit
JLABS @ Toronto Visit
JLABS @ NYC Visit

Global Programming

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.

April 08, 2021 , 11:00AM - 12:15PM EDT
Get on the Production Line: Selecting the Best Contract Manufacturer
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February 23, 2021, 11:00AM–12:30PM EST
Developing Alternative Administration Techniques for Therapeutics and Vaccines
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February 9, 2021, 11:00AM–12:30PM EST
The ‘Invisible’ Future of Health Monitoring
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December 15, 2020, 01:00PM - 2:30PM EST
Raising Funds - In the Virtual World
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December 8, 2020 to December 10, 2020
BLUE KNIGHT™ Symposium
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December 02, 2020, 12:00PM - 1:00PM EST
Join the Force: An Info Session on the JLABS @ Washington, DC and the BLUE KNIGHT™ Collaboration
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December 1, 2020, 12:00PM - 1:30PM EST
Protecting Our Future: Spurring Innovation to Support Pediatric Preparedness
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October 13, 2020, 10:00PM - 1:00PM EST
Revise, Edit, Delete: Gene Editing for A Healthier Future
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September 30, 2020, 11am – 12:30pm EST
Meet With...BARDA
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September 18, 2020, 8:30 – 9:45am EST
A Breath of Fresh Innovation: Advancing Remote Respiratory Monitoring
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September 17, 2020, 10am – 12:30pm EST
A Master Introduction to Developing Cell and Gene Therapies
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September 9, 2020, 8:30 – 9:45am EST
Something Old, Something New: A Disruptive Platform to Repurpose Drugs
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May 26, 2020 - On Demand
The Write Stuff: Strengthen your Proposal Writing Skills
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May 13, 2020 - On Demand
Wearable Technology: What’s the Role in Early Detection?
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May 6, 2020 - On Demand
Impacting Public Health: How Can My Idea Be A Part of the Solution?
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April 28, 2020 - On Demand
Fighting Viruses - Current challenges and successes in the battle against viruses
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April 16, 2020
Detecting Viruses - How are leading scientist thinking about early detection?
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Jan 28, 2020 - On Demand
Science 1st: Combating Infectious Diseases
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Johnson & Johnson Innovation and BARDA Select a Surge Force of Companies with the Aim to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic as Part of Its BLUE KNIGHT™ Collaboration

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JLABS @ Washington, DC news

Press release

Press conference

JLABS @ Washington, DC: The Unique Innovation Hub That's Poised to Help Protect Us From Future Pandemics

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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Response Efforts

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The Road to a Vaccine

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Reimagining Respiratory Protection QuickFire Awardee Announcement

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Invisible Shield QuickFire Challenge

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Johnson & Johnson Announces Collaboration with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Fight Influenza

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Global Public-Private Partnership Announces Publication of Positive Phase 1 Data for Ebola Vaccine Regimen in JAMA

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Johnson & Johnson Announces BARDA Funding Award to Accelerate Ebola Vaccine Program

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FAQs

What is BLUE KNIGHT™?

BLUE KNIGHT™  is a joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’) 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. This collaboration aims to stimulate the innovation and incubation of science and technologies that may improve health security and response by supporting companies focused on public health threats and emerging infectious diseases.

The initiative strives to create a pipeline of innovative, early-stage startups that are strategically aligned to mutual areas of interest between BARDA and the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, while also supporting the advancement of end-to-end, adjunct solutions with the potential to address innovation gaps along the development pathway and the continuum of care.

 

As part of Blue Knight, selected companies may gain access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS through physical residency or virtual opportunities, dedicated mentorship from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and BARDA and customized programming aligned with key areas of interest in infectious disease, public health and company acceleration. Blue Knight programming and symposia will be accessible to the broader innovation community. 

Blue Knight hopes that by fostering an ecosystem of innovation focused on improving our response capacity and capabilities in these areas, we will be better able to address 21st century health security threats. 

 

Where will BLUE KNIGHT™ companies be located?

BLUE KNIGHT™ offers physical residency at select Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’) locations, as well as a virtual engagement option. Physical residency is available at: 

  • JLABS @ Washington, DC, the hub Blue Knight location with a dedicated footprint for selected companies 
  • Additional JLABS locations in Houston, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Toronto 
  • JPODS and Affiliate Sites in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco

You may apply to Blue Knight here

What are the options for a company that has/is developing potential solutions that fit with a BLUE KNIGHT™ strategic area of interest, however, is not in a position to relocate to one of the JLABS locations?

BLUE KNIGHT™ offers a virtual engagement option for qualifying companies who are not location dependent and/or do not require lab space. Virtual Blue Knight companies may receive virtual access to the JLABS ecosystem, along with fee assistance and dedicated mentorship from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and BARDA.

You may apply for Blue Knight here

Who should apply to be a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident? Do applicants need to be an incorporated company to be considered for BLUE KNIGHT™?

BLUE KNIGHT™ residents are JLABS companies, therefore applicants need to meet JLABS requirements – including the requirement that eligible applicants must be an incorporated company. Incorporated companies from around the world 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 are eligible to apply. While individuals may not be eligible for Blue Knight residency, all individuals are encouraged to attend Blue Knight programming opportunities held throughout the year.

How does a company apply to become a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident?

You may apply to be considered for BLUE KNIGHT™ physical residency or for virtual engagement online here

What are the criteria to apply to be considered for an opportunity to become a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident? Who will evaluate applications? Does this process differ from applying to be a JLABS resident at other sites?

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 the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies' 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 a JLABS resident
  • 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.

Do I need to be a JLABS resident to apply for BLUE KNIGHT™?

BLUE KNIGHT™ opportunities are currently open to new companies seeking to join the JLABS ecosystem, current JLABS companies, and JLABS alumni

How often are applications evaluated? When will I be notified if selected to be a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident?

Applications are reviewed and eligible applicants will be notified on a rolling basis. Questions regarding the status of a submission may be directed to [email protected].

If my company is not accepted as a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident, will my application be evaluated for residency at another JLABS location? Need I re-apply?

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. 

Companies that are considering re-applying for Blue Knight residency are strongly encouraged to exemplify progress achieved since their last application and highlight their alignment to Blue Knight.

What makes a BLUE KNIGHT™ residency unique? What are the benefits?

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:

Infrastructure:

  • 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 of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies' around the world
  • Year-round commercialization curriculum

Intangible Offerings:

  • 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 vendors 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 the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies' Leadership), and the Inside Scoop Series (three-minute pitches for all resident companies who recently joined JLABS) 
What are the financial costs associated with being a BLUE KNIGHT™ resident?

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, is 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.

How long does fee assistance for BLUE KNIGHT™ residents last?

After being selected for BLUE KNIGHT™ fee assistance may be provided while the company is a current JLABS resident and is strategically aligned to Blue Knight. Company alignment and eligibility may be assessed during the course of residency.

Who can I contact if I have questions about BLUE KNIGHT™ or the application process?

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

What other opportunities exist to engage with JLABS and BARDA?

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, 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 with the aim to address 21st century health security threats. The inaugural Blue Knight Symposium was held virtually on December 8-10, 2020 and can be viewed on demandFuture dates to be confirmed. 

Why is JLABS partnering with BARDA?

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, BLUE KNIGHT™, aims to stimulate a pipeline of innovative, early-stage startups that are strategically aligned to mutual areas of interest between BARDA and Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, while also supporting the advancement of end-to-end, adjunct solutions with the potential to address innovation gaps along the development pathway and the continuum of care.

This joint initiative builds on established collaborations between the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies 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 a goal of developing programs and initiatives that catalyze a new community of entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders committed to meeting medical countermeasure needs. 

Can companies based outside the U.S. apply for BLUE KNIGHT™ residency?

Yes, companies outside the United States may be considered for BLUE KNIGHT™.

You may apply for BLUE KNIGHT™ here

What is the ‘Surge Force’ of BLUE KNIGHT™ companies?

In August 2020, 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 were 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.