fbpx Food Allergy Prevention QuickFire Challenge - Challenge | JLABS
Food Allergy

Food Allergy Prevention QuickFire Challenge

74 days remaining

Up to $150,000 in grant funding


Food allergies are a growing public health problem. For many affected individuals, food allergy begins early in life and persists as a lifelong condition. However, a growing body of work provides insights into potential pathways to reduce the risk of developing food allergies. For example:

  • Research points to a window of opportunity in the early years of a child’s life to reduce the risk of food allergies through the early and ongoing ingestion of allergenic foods;
  • Data suggest a healthy gut microbiome plays a critical role in decreasing risk;
  • Progress is being made in identifying recognizable risk factors associated with increased likelihood of developing food allergy, including atopic dermatitis, antibiotic exposure, C-section delivery and/or a gut microbiome dysbiosis.

That's why Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Healthy Baby Initiative within Janssen Research & Development’s World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA), together with the Food Allergy Fund, are launching the Food Allergy Prevention QuickFire Challenge. Innovators are invited to submit novel methods, products, or technologies with the potential to prevent children from developing food allergy in the early years of their life.

The innovator(s) with the best novel methods, products, or technologies can receive grant funding from a total pool of $150,000, access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS network, and mentorship from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.*

* Subject to the execution of the necessary documentation and (award) agreements.

Why this challenge matters to us

Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that childhood food allergy increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011, now affecting 1 in 13 children in the United States. About 40% of children are allergic to multiple foods. One insurance-industry study found that emergency room visits for anaphylaxis in children more than doubled from 2010 to 2016.

Across the globe, the severity of symptoms appears to be increasing. A large-scale review of hospital admissions data found anaphylaxis cases on the rise in the US, Australia and Europe, among other regions.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation believes a great idea can come from anywhere. Working together, we could be able to better understand and address these alarming statistics to potentially change the trajectory to a lifetime of health.

What we’re looking for

Submissions should aim to address one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Risk detection including connected devices for both point-of-care and at-home prognostics/diagnostics.
  • Interventions & treatments including preventive therapeutics and health technologies
  • Community platforms with the potential to establish connectivity, monitor data, educate the public with a specific focus on socio-economic disparities, and assist communities


  • Grant funding from a total pool of $150,000, in increments of $75,000, $50,000, or $25,000
  • Access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS network
  • Mentorship from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies*


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

  • Novelty
  • Potential impact on human health, with a specific focus on demonstrating equitable access to care
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of the approach
  • Identification of key resources and a plan to further the idea including perceived commercialization potential

All applicants will have the option to submit a brief, vibrant video about their potential solution.

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 non-confidential 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. Make sure that you do not submit any information that is non-proprietary or owned by a third party.

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.

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, or that is not proprietary considered a trade secret or privileged.

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/partnerin

Who is eligible to apply?

Each Challenge has its own terms & conditions that we require you to accept, and 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:

  • Novelty
  • Potential impact on human health, with a specific focus on demonstrating equitable access to care
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of the approach
  • Identification of key resources and a plan to further the idea including perceived commercialization potential

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?

You can setup an account at https://jnj-quickfire.smapply.io. You are able to save your work and log back in to finish at a later time if needed.

How long should application responses be?

While there are no specific word count requirements, we recommend that applicants answer each question thoroughly but succinctly, ensuring consideration of any prompts provided within the application.

Applicants also have the ability to upload a non-confidential executive summary and the option to add a non-confidential supporting slide deck, and/or brief video to your application. While these are not required, we recommend adding any non-confidential available materials that aid in communicating a potential solution including pictures, graphs, etc..

How long is the award period?

The award period is one year.

How can grant funding be utilized?

Applicants are asked to detail their intended use of funds as part of that QuickFire Challenge application and how they anticipate the funds will accelerate their solution forward to achieve the milestones outlined in their application.  The grant funding must be used solely for the legitimate advancement of the innovative solution as described in the QuickFire Challenge application.  For the avoidance of doubt, below is a non-exhaustive list of impermissible uses of the grant funding:

  • Brick and mortar costs
  • Lobbying, including but not limited to, grass roots lobbying
  • Provisions of healthcare services (e.g. direct patient engagement via a telehealth service)
  • Pass throughs to healthcare providers and/or government officials/employees (e.g. used for the salary of an HCP)
  • Payment towards past development activities (e.g. payment of business loan)

There are no specific rates or percentages that are allowable or not allowable with regards to overhead, etc.  That said, all applications are evaluated on the impact the funds will have and milestone achievements.  A progress report including details about the use of funds is required at the conclusion of the award period.

What types of submissions are you interested in?

We are interested in tangible innovations at a variety of stages – including ideation, prototyping, piloting, and commercial launches. Submissions should align to our areas of focus and not be limited to academic research projects.


November 17, 2021
December 17, 2021
Discussion at Food Allergy Fund Fall Summit
February 18, 2022
May 2022
Announcement at Food Allergy Fund Spring Summit

JnJ Innovation

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC works across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health sectors to accelerate early-stage, transformational solutions by catalyzing the best ideas, wherever they are in the world. We do this by harnessing our deep scientific capabilities coupled with a wide range of tools, including customized deal structures, company creation, incubation and startup services, capital investments and other innovative business models that aim to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, scientists and emerging companies. Our goal is to help life science and health technology innovations thrive through collaboration and partnership with the global ecosystem, so that together we can change the trajectory of human health. Meet our passionate team of science and technology experts and learn how to collaborate with us at www.jnjinnovation.com.


Janssen Research


About Janssen Research & Development LLC

At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.


Food Allergy


Food Allergy Fund

The Food Allergy Fund is dedicated to funding food allergy research focused on the underlying causes of food allergies and improved treatments for people with food allergies. The Food Allergy Fund enlists celebrity ambassadors, industry partners, and individuals to raise public awareness and to support scientific research