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Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge: Smart Healthcare

Challenge ended

Up to KRW 150,000,000 (~ US $134,000)


Seoul-based ImagoWorks, a KIST spin-off company, applies artificial intelligence and geometrical modeling technology in its innovative 3D medical/dental software platform aiming to improve surgical outcomes.,


Illinois-based Sibel, Inc. is developing breakthrough, bio-integrated sensors with the potential to allow for full vital signs monitoring in patients of all ages and sizes.

The Challenge 

In 2018, the Asia-Pacific health tech industry had a record-breaking year in total funding, closing at $6.3 billion, making the Asia-Pacific health tech ecosystem the second largest in the world in value, behind only the United States[1]. As the health tech boom surges in the Asia-Pacific, healthcare solutions geared towards medical diagnosis, health management, patient solutions, and population health management garnered multimillion-dollar deals.

Health tech may hold the promise of providing new inroads for the biggest healthcare challenges of our time. From patient care, to data management, personalized medicine and population health, Smart Healthcare tools including blockchain, AI, 3D printing, and wearables, may be the key that unlocks new advances that make a meaningful difference for people around the globe.

That’s why Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS (JLABS) in collaboration with Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), Janssen Korea Ltd. are launching the Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge in Smart Healthcare. Up to two innovators with the best idea, technology, or solution that aims to address a health need for the world's population will receive up to KRW150,000,000 (approximately US$134,000) in grant funding, entrance to the Seoul Bio Hub, and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.


[1] Galen Growth Asia, 2019


Up to KRW 150,000,000 (~ US $134,000)
  • One-year residency at the Seoul Bio Hub
  • A year of mentorship and coaching from experts in science and commercialization at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
  • Access to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem

Areas of Interest

We encourage applications from innovators working on all aspects of technology-enabled ‘Smart Healthcare’. Here’s what we mean: 

  • Big data, artificial intelligence, block chain
  • 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, wearables
  • Personalized medicine, companion diagnostics

We are interested in applications seeking to impact: 

  • Patient care & shared decision making
  • Healthcare related problem solving, including impact that aims to lower cost and improve access to care
  • Customized approach for better outcomes

We believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that provide solutions to patients from around the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that could change the trajectory of health. Seoul, Korea has a robust healthcare innovation ecosystem and Johnson & Johnson is aiming to accelerate breakthroughs through this QuickFire Challenge.


What is being awarded and to how many innovators/companies?

Up to two awardees will be awarded up to KRW150,000,000 (approximately US$134,000) in grant funding, one year of residency at the Seoul Bio Hub, one year of mentorship and coaching from experts in science and commercialization at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and access to the JLABS global entrepreneurial community.

Where do I apply?

You can apply through https://jnjawards.fluidreview.com/.

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.

What does residency at the Seoul Bio Hub entail?

For this challenge, residency at the Seoul Bio Hub entails the entitlement to rent an office suite at Seoul Bio Hub, of which the size of suites starts from 24m2.  From the KRW150 million grant, each awardee will receive a KRW75 million grant including one-year mandatory residency which must be used toward the rent and utilities at the Seoul Bio Hub for a year.

For prizes involving residency, are there any expenses not covered by the Seoul Bio Hub?

Each awardee will be responsible for its monthly rent and utilities. Each awardee will receive a grant, including one year of rent and utilities at the Seoul Bio Hub. Please contact the Seoul Bio Hub ([email protected]) for more information on the rental cost.

Will JLABS or Seoul Bio Hub pay for my living costs, relocation or visas?

No, any additional fees and paperwork are the responsibility of the awardee.

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 two 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?

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 current market
  • Quality & feasibility of technology
  • Team credibility & capabilities
  • Plans for utilizing the Seoul Bio Hub
  • Idea submission outlines interest in the innovation ecosystem in Seoul

Do applicants have to reside in Korea in order to apply?

No, this is a global challenge. However, if selected as an awardee or finalist, at least one core team member of the applicant company must reside in the Seoul Bio Hub for no less than one year.

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 setup an account at http://jnjawards.fluidreview.com. You are able to save your work and log back in to finish at a later time if needed.


Applications Open
Submission Deadline
Awardee 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 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

About the Seoul Metropolitan Government

Seoul is a global city located at the center of Northeast Asia characterized by easy access to metropolitan cities around the world and convenient living conditions, with nine (9) subway lines, 357 subway stations, 6,000 bus stops, and 22 international schools.

The Seoul Metropolitan Area is an optimal location to foster technology-oriented venture firms as it houses more than 20,000 research institutes, 139 universities, and 133 general hospitals, concentrating top-caliber workforce and technology in a single location.

The Hongneung Biomedical Cluster, home to Seoul Bio Hub, opened in September 2017, houses national research institutes (KIST, etc.), research-oriented hospitals, and universities. The Seoul Metropolitan Government offers facilities and equipment for the fast growth of technologically advanced startups and helps businesses, researchers, and businessmen develop and commercialize innovative technologies via support in investment, administration, and information services.

About Seoul Bio Hub

Seoul Bio Hub, located in northern Seoul began operations in October 2017 and is a life science innovation center sponsored by SMG and operated by KHIDI. Its key function is to support early-stage life science companies’ growth and commercialization by providing full-service wet laboratory and office spaces, shared equipment, networking events, training programs, and investor relation opportunities. As the only biotech startup platform located in Seoul, it leverages its geographical advantages to accelerate the startup ecosystem, by facilitating cooperative networks among research-driven hospitals, universities, national research institutes, and venture capital firms within close proximity. For more information, please visit http://www.seoulbiohub.kr.

About Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)

KHIDI is a government-affiliated institution that provides professional and systems-building support aimed at developing the domestic healthcare industry and enhancing healthcare services. Since its establishment in 1999, KHIDI has led the expansion of healthcare research and development investment within the region, helping to build the competitiveness of Korea's healthcare industry across health services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beauty-cosmetics. KHIDI is designated as an operating body of the Seoul Bio Hub and is leveraging its infrastructure and network to facilitate collaborations with relevant stakeholders to advance scientific innovation. For more information, please visit http://www.khidi.or.kr/eps.

About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

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. Learn more at www.janssen.com.