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NYC Innovation QuickFire Challenge on Neuroscience

Challenge ended

Up to $25,000 in grant funding





Biorchestra is a Biomarker-driven RNA therapeutics company focusing on neurodegenerative diseases and rare genetic diseases. The company's platform has developed therapeutic candidates for Alzheimer's disease, mRNA vaccine, and drug delivery systems for RNA candidates, with the aim to help doctors improve the health of humankind.



Johnson & Johnson Innovation invites groundbreakers to submit ideas aimed at reducing the burden and disability caused by serious neuropsychiatric, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases in the NYC Innovation QuickFire Challenge on Neuroscience.

The groundbreaker(s) with the best idea(s) will receive up to $25,000 in grant funding; one year of residency at JLABS @ NYC - with the use of a bench, workstation and access to the JLABS @ NYC community; and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.


JLABS @ NYC — a 30,000-square foot facility located at the New York Genome Center —supports the next generation of innovation leaders by enabling and encouraging early-stage companies aiming to transform the science of today into the breakthrough healthcare potential solutions of tomorrow.

By applying the unique Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS model to New York’s dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit, JLABS @ NYC aims to convene the brightest talent from around the region with industry experts to push the boundaries of science and collaborate across a shared community.

Since its launch in 2018, JLABS @ NYC has welcomed 46 resident companies to its family across the pharmaceutical, medical device, health tech, and consumer sectors. With the continuous need to help advance science with the aim to conquer our world’s evolving health challenges, JLABS @ NYC is actively searching for the brightest minds with transformative ideas on how to improve health and wellness – and we believe that the next big breakthroughs in healthcare could begin within academia and this rising generation of innovators.


Up to $25,000 in grant funding
  • One year of residency at JLABS @ NYC - with the use of a bench, workstation and access to the JLABS @ NYC community
  • Mentorship from experts from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

Areas of interest

We encourage applications from neuroscience groundbreakers working on projects related to target identification, target validation or measurements that help patient selection or treatment response to support the discovery and development of breakthrough therapies for neuropsychiatric, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular interest in the following areas:

  • Neuropsychiatric diseases, including behavioral domains (e.g. anhedonia, anxiety and sleep) that are commonly dysregulated in serious mental illnesses.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS using small molecule approaches as well as alternative modalities (e.g. gene therapy, ASO and siRNA).
  • Approaches that advance understanding of neuroimmunology with potential to create new therapeutic avenues to modulate neuroinflammation.
  • Digital biomarkers and therapeutics to improve patient outcomes and support precision central nervous system medicine approaches.

Application process

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

  • Uniqueness of the idea
  • Potential impact on human health, with a specific focus on inclusive innovations
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of approach
  • Use of JLABS @ NYC residency and potential impact on the New York City ecosystem

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.


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:

  • Uniqueness of the idea
  • Potential impact on human health, with a specific focus on inclusive innovations
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of approach
  • Use of JLABS @ NYC residency and potential impact on the New York City ecosystem


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.


November 11, 2020
Applications open
February 12, 2021
Submission Deadline
December 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 jlabs.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JLABS.