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Advancing Joint Replacement Surgery QuickFire Challenge

Advancing Joint Replacement Surgery QuickFire Challenge

33 days remaining

Up to $50,000 grant funding

Medical Devices


Every year, more than 27 million orthopaedic procedures are performed across the globe.[1]

As more patients require orthopaedic care globally, the R&D organization of Depuy Synthes, the Orthopaedic Company of Johnson & Johnson, is helping to shape the standard of modern day care, including forging new capabilities in surgical robotics. To continue to help lead the industry’s digital transformation, Depuy Synthes is committed to ongoing innovation across the care continuum to keep patients, surgeons, and the industry moving forward.

While great strides have been made in robotic surgery[2], the future of intra-operative surgical solutions for patients undergoing orthopaedic joint replacement surgery has the potential to continue to reduce cost, increase efficiency and improve usability, and simplify procedures.

To that end, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, together with the R&D organization of DePuy Synthes, announces the Advancing Joint Replacement Surgery QuickFire Challenge. Innovators are invited to submit concepts, prototypes and developed technologies that could potentially address current technology limitations in orthopaedic joint replacement surgery, such as:

  • Cost: High cost of capital equipment and per procedure disposable cost
  • Usability: Poor user experience including loss of tactile feedback, time inefficiency, and constraints on OR layout
  • Complexity: Injury and pain associated with pin sites used for bone markers, requirement to maintain line of sight with optical tracking arrays, inefficient and inaccurate bone registration

The innovator(s) with the best idea, technology, or solution aimed at advancing surgical solutions for orthopaedic joint replacement surgery will receive grant funding up to $50,000, access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS network and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.


[1] Global Orthopedic Surgery Market Report, 2017 to 2022. Research and Markets. Accessed April 2021.

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1356187/


Up to $50,000 grant funding
  • Access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem
  • Mentoring from experts within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

Areas of Interest

Innovators are invited to submit concepts, prototypes and developed technologies that could potentially address current technology limitations in orthopaedic joint replacement surgery including reducing cost, increasing efficiency and improving usability, and simplifying procedures.

Specific areas of focus for the challenge include advanced methods of bone tracking and registration to enable either smart surgical tools or a next generation robotic solutions, eliminating the need for line of sight tracking using pin-based optical arrays.

We are specifically interested in applications that meet the following criteria:

  • Fast bone registration (<30s, <1mm, 1deg accuracy)
  • Markerless or minimally invasive tracking solutions (<1mm, 1deg accuracy)
  • Accommodate the majority of OR layouts, workflows, surgical staff (PA, scrub tech etc.) positions
  • Low-cost solutions with per case disposable cost of <$50USD
  • User friendly with few surgical steps and a small footprint
  • Image-free (standard Xray only)

Application Process

Potential solutions will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and judges on the solutions’ ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Technical Alignment
    • Accuracy
    • Minimal or non-invasive attachment of markers, if any, to bone
    • Size and footprint of equipment
    • Per case disposable cost <$50USF
    • Potential scalability of manufacturing to produce multi-millions per year
  • Uniqueness of Idea/Solution
  • Commercialization potential
  • Time to market 

Why this challenge matters to us

At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that aim to provide solutions to patients from across the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that can potentially change the trajectory of health.

Apply Now

Submit your idea today!

Don’t miss the deadline


What if I’m having trouble accessing the portal/website?

Make sure your browser is up to date and accepting cookies. You can contact customer service at [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties as well.

Can I submit supporting documents (for example a video) as part of my application?

You will have the opportunity and are encouraged to upload supporting materials such as slide decks, research papers, and videos as part of your application. You may submit a video along with your typed responses. Maximum length is 2 minutes.

Is it ok if some of the information I submit is confidential?

Do not submit confidential information. Only non-confidential information should be submitted and anything you submit will be treated as non-confidential.

What happens with IP (Intellectual Property)?

As this is a no strings attached arrangement, JLABS does not acquire any IP.  Any IP creation and/or protection remains the sole responsibility of the inventors.

Is a patent required to apply?

No, a patent is not required to apply.  However, you should not submit any information that you wish to keep confidential or that may negatively impact upon the future patentability of your invention.

What kind of science / technology is appropriate for the Challenges?

We encourage all to apply. Find out more about what areas we desire to explore here: https://www.jnjinnovation.com/partnering

Who is eligible to apply?

Each Challenge has its own terms & conditions that can be found prior to filling out the application.

What are the specific criteria for application?

Potential solutions will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and judges on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Potential impact to transform human health
  • Uniqueness of the idea
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of approach
  • Identification of key resources and a plan to further the idea

Who can I contact if I have questions about the Challenge or the application process?

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Where do I apply? And do I have to complete the application in one sitting?

Go to https://jnjquickfire.secure-platform.com to learn more. From there you will be directed to set up an account.


April 27, 2021
Applications Open
June 18, 2021
Submission deadline
Fall 2021
Award Announcement

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; Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS; 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. JLABS provides the laboratories, expertise, education, tools and resources needed to help life science startups thrive, all with no strings attached. A Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) has been established to accelerate the development of medical devices. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Innovation, 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 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 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 also produces campaigns to seek out the best science called QuickFire Challenges. For more information, visit www.jlabs.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JLABS.


DePuy Synthes

DePuy Synthes, the Orthopaedics Company of Johnson & Johnson, provides one of the most comprehensive orthopaedics portfolios in the world that helps heal and restore movement for the millions of patients we serve. DePuy Synthes solutions, in specialties including joint reconstruction, trauma, craniomaxillofacial, spinal surgery and sport medicine, in addition to the VELYSTM Digital Surgery portfolio, are designed to advance patient care while delivering clinical and economic value to health care systems worldwide.