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JLABS @ Washington, DC Children's QuickFire Challenge
Johnson & Johnson- JLABS @ DC QuickFire - With Spark

JLABS @ Washington, DC Children's QuickFire Challenge

Challenge ended

Up to $150,000* + JLABS Residency

Global Public Health



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In honor of the new JLABS @ Washington, DC – a 32,000 square foot facility located on the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC in partnership with Children’s National Health System[1] (“Children’s National”) - Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS announces the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge.

Visionaries within the fields of pediatric oncology, pediatric surgery and influenza are invited to submit innovative ideas for a total of up to $150,000 in total grant funding; one year of residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC with the use of a bench, workstation, and access to the JLABS @ Washington, DC community; and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation is proud to be among those answering the call to prioritize pediatric care, a message widely celebrated at the 2018 State of the Union address alongside the promise of an additional $500 million in government funding for pediatric oncology research over the next 10 years.

In addition to welcoming the awardees in this QuickFire Challenge upon opening in 2020, JLABS @ Washington, DC offers residency to pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology companies that are aiming to advance the development of new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies.


Areas of Interest

We encourage applications from innovators working in all aspects of pediatric oncology, pediatric surgical care, and influenza. Specific areas of focus include:

Pediatric Oncology

  • Innovations in pediatric oncology port technologies
  • Drugs that target pediatric-specific driver genes
  • Bedside, rapid tumor genetic testing

Pediatric Surgical Care

  • Pediatric-specific implants for trauma & fracture care including growth-enabling spine & trauma orthopedic implants
  • Innovative treatment options for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Surgical robotics to treat pediatric patients


  • Pediatric-focused innovations in influenza
  • Novel solutions for influenza vaccine delivery
  • Influenza pre-exposure including antivirals prophylaxis formulation

Applications will be accepted across:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical devices
  • Consumer products
  • Global public health
  • Health technologies
  • Cross-sector initiatives (an integration of one or more areas of focus mentioned above)

What we're looking for

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

  • Potential impact
  • Uniqueness of solution & level of competition in the current market
  • Quality & feasibility of the technology
  • Team credibility & capabilities
  • Plans for utilizing JLABS @ Washington, DC

Idea submission outlines interest in the innovation ecosystem in Washington, D.C.

Rewards and Benefits

Up to $150,000 in total grant funding*
  • One year of residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC with the use of a bench, workstation and access to the JLABS @ Washington, DC community for one year
  • Mentoring by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
  • *Total grants available for awardee(s)

Why This Challenge Matters To Us

Developing safe and effective medicines, devices or consumer products that enable future generations to reach their full potential requires children-centric innovation. The Child Health Innovation Leadership Department (CHILD) is Johnson & Johnson’s dedicated team working to understand the safety and effectiveness of our medicines in children, and to accelerate policies driven by the needs of our youngest patients.

We collaborate with the aim to change the paradigm for pediatric medical research to enable better-informed decisions by regulators and healthcare practitioners so all children can live longer, healthier and happier lives.

We believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that have the potential to provide solutions to patients from across the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that can change the trajectory of health for children.



[1] The contracting entity is Children’s National at Walter Reed, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Children’s National Health System.


April 9, 2019
Applications Open
April 24, 2020
Submission Deadline
Awardee(s) announced at JLABS @ Washington, DC Grand Opening

Working in a different area of focus but interested in applying to JLABS @ Washington, DC?

Start an application here

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; Johnson & Johnson Innovation – 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 InnovationJLABS (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. 


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 https://jnj-quickfire.smapply.io if you are having technical difficulties as well

What does residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC entail and for how many people?

For challenges involving residency at JLABS, that entails 1 lab bench and 1 workstation (desk) for 2 people maximum. If you have more employees, we can rent out an additional space.

Will JLABS or Children’s National pay for my living costs, relocation or visas?

No, any additional fees and paperwork are up to the winner.

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 written 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 provided, 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 is proprietary or that you wish to keep confidential, or that may negatively impact 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 reviewed and needs to be accepted before filling out the application.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the Challenges 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 set up an account at https://jnj-quickfire.smapply.io. You can save your work and log back in to finish at a later time if needed.