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Nurses Innovate QFC Improving access to care

Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge: Improving Access to Care

Challenge ended

Up to $100,000 in grant funding

Medical Devices
Digital Health
Infectious Diseases & Vaccines


As part of our broader pledge to help support frontline healthcare workers and help provide equitable health solutions for communities of color, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is proud to further our 120-year commitment to nurses, including advocating for, elevating and empowering nurses as innovative leaders who strengthen health systems and change human health for the better.

An estimated 20 million nurses and midwives around the world — the equivalent of more than 50% of the healthcare workforce[1]are the backbone of health systems worldwide, with invaluable hands-on patient experience, resourcefulness and an innate innovative mindset, bringing forward powerful ideas on how to help improve patient outcomes and healthcare. We are proud to help bring these ideas to life.

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused a spotlight on nurses and their impact like never before, where the world is seeing nurses in action as innovative leaders who possess the resiliency and resourcefulness to navigate health emergencies and provide support to patients and fellow frontline health workers alike.[2]

We are proud to continue the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge series with a seventh Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge together with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) and the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN). Focused on “Improving Access to Care,” we look to nurses to create potential solutions that aim to improve quality and access to equitable care and ultimately can help prevent, intercept, or treat disease.

We invite nurses and nursing students worldwide to submit their nurse-led novel concepts, protocols, treatment approaches, screening tools, and consumer product ideas with the potential to help improve access to care amid the current pandemic environment and beyond.

The nurse innovators with the best idea(s) will receive up to $100,000 in grant funding and access to mentoring from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to help bring their ideas to life.

As innovators on the frontlines of healthcare, nurses have the power to profoundly change lives. Johnson & Johnson has the scale, resources and know-how to help move them forward. Put these two together, and that changes everything.

    [1] https://www.who.int/hrh/nursing_midwifery/en/

    [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7206441/  

    What we’re looking for

    We invite nurses and nursing students worldwide to bring their experiences, ideas and insights to help create nurse-led solutions, protocols, technologies, devices and/or treatment approaches that can help improve access to care amid the current pandemic environment and beyond, including but not limited to the below focus areas.

    • Vaccine Education and Delivery
      • Vaccines are a critical component in our fight against COVID-19. As governments and communities begin vaccine roll-out, there are concerns and logistical questions as to how the vaccine can reach the masses to achieve herd immunity. How can we improve vaccine acceptance and efforts in education and delivery to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19?
    • Medical Deserts
      • In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 30 million people live in a medical desert, or a region with inadequate access to healthcare[1]. This limited access to medical services increases mortality rates and exacerbates long-term health problems. How can we help improve access to medical, behavioral, mental, dental, and/or pharmaceutical healthcare services in communities where such resources and services are extremely limited or altogether unavailable?
    • New Models and Settings for Care
      • Even before COVID-19, healthcare teams and health organizations were innovating new ways to provide care, such as implementing virtual care models for patients and nurse-led teams at community clinics. How can we further strengthen care model innovation and improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability of these non-traditional models and settings of care to help reduce burdens on hospitals and improve patient outcomes?
    • Health Equity, Racial Disparities & Inclusion
      • The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the racial and social injustices and inequities that have plagued society and communities of color, with leading health associations, including the American Nurses Association, declaring racism an urgent public health crisis. As the past year has spotlighted how injustices related to race, sexual orientation and gender identity are connected to public health outcomes, how can we address the systemic disparities and inequities rooted in many areas of healthcare and provide better quality, sustainable and equitable access to care systems.

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

    • Potential impact on human health
    • Uniqueness of the idea
    • Feasibility of the idea and potential path to commercialization
    • Thoroughness of approach
    • Identification of key resources and plan to further ideate

    Areas of Interest


    Up to $100,000 in grant funding
    • Mentoring from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
    • Access to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS ecosystem

    Why this challenge matters to us

    For more than 120 years, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has supported nurses, through employment, platforms, collaborations, training and funding in scholarships, helping to educate, empower and inspire those in the field.

    As part of our long-standing commitment to supporting frontline healthcare workers, Johnson & Johnson firmly believes that nurses are critical partners leading healthcare transformation, identifying and developing new, life-saving methods with the potential to profoundly improve human health.

    We believe that by working together, we can spark the next great idea that could change the trajectory of human health.


    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.

    Which stage of innovation are you interested in for Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenges?

    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.

    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, 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/partnering

    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 an external? panel of reviewers and judges on their ability to meet the following criteria:

    • Potential impact on human health
    • Uniqueness of the idea
    • Feasibility of the idea and potential path to commercialization
    • Thoroughness of approach
    • Identification of key resources and plan to further ideate

    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.

    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.

    What types of ideas are you interested in?

    Submissions should have path to commercialization. While ideas can be early-stage, we are not looking for research projects not pursuing a viable potential solution.

    Apply Now

    Submit your idea today!

    Don’t miss the deadline


    May 12, 2021
    Applications Open
    August 6, 2021
    Application 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; 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 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 jlabs.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JLABS.


    About Johnson & Johnson Nursing

    In alignment with our overall commitment to supporting frontline health workers, Johnson & Johnson is proud to continue its 120-year commitment to the nursing profession by advocating for, elevating and empowering all nurses as innovative leaders who improve patient outcomes, strengthen health systems and drive healthcare transformation. We believe that nurses change lives, and they are leading healthcare change, to unlock greater potential for improved human health. For more information and resources, visit nursing.jnj.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @JNJNursing.


    About the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP)

    The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the largest national professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties, represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the United States. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, go to npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.


    About the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN)

    The Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN) has a rich history. APHN began as the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing (ASTDN) in 1935 as an advisory group of state health department nurses. The organization has grown over the years with members from across the United States and territories. APHN is an affiliate of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Get help with questions APHN Administrative Assistant Membership categories Who should join APHN? APHN is the voice of public health nurses on a national level. APHN provides a forum for public health nurses at all levels of practice to network and exchange ideas.