Johnson & Johnson launches Singapore QuickFire Challenge

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Johnson & Johnson launches Singapore QuickFire Challenge

Related tags: Health care

The personal care market in APAC is at the centre of an innovation drive by Johnson & Johnson Innovation as it teams up with ETPL and SMART to launch Singapore QuickFire Challenge Competition.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, a division of Johnson & Johnson (China), announced a collaboration with Singapore’s leading Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s ETPL, through its Diagnostics Development Hub, and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).

Global healthcare solutions

Focusing on cutting-edge technology, the Singapore QuickFire Challenge centres on metabolic disease innovation to help consumers in APAC find solutions to health concerns including diabetes and obesity.

The international Singapore QuickFire Challenge competition, which was launched at the 2017 Biopharma Asia Conference, will award biotechnology researchers, academics and entrepreneurs who use their scientific expertise and business experience to launch new personal care innovations.

Through Asian Diabetes Prevention Initiative statistics, Johnson & Johnson revealed that diabetes affects over 250 mn people in APAC at present, with these figures expected to rise to over 500 mn people in China and India alone by 2030.

Cheong’s 2014 paper, entitled Overweight and Obesity in Asia was also noted stating that the burden of obesity on the Chinese population has increased from 11.3%  to 27.9% of adults, and from 5.7% to 18.8% of youths aged 19 and below between the years 1980 and 2013.

Scientific innovation

The JLABS initiative, created by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, is a worldwide network of open innovation processes and systems designed to advance the development of “life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions”​, the multinational consumer company revealed.

As Johnson & Johnson’s business strategy centres around “positively impacting human health through innovation”,​ the co-branded programme is now receiving submissions until the closing deadline of 17th May 2017.

“We are passionate about working side-by-side with innovators to develop ideas for today’s most pressing healthcare needs,”​ said Dong Wu, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Asia Pacific.

“Our strategic partnership with ETPL and SMART emphasises that we are determined to grow and nurture health care ecosystems in global innovation hotspots like Singapore.”

International competition

Alongside one year of mentorship and coaching by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the three top winners of Singapore QuickFire Challenge will receive SGD 100,000 (€66,000) in project money to help them to pursue research in Singapore. The winning applicants will also have access to work in the ETPL laboratory area.

All applicants must have at least one of their core members residing in Singapore for a minimum of 50% of the grant’s term to be eligible.

The initiative is supported by Spring Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry that supports enterprise growth. It will announce the finalists on 28th June 2017 and then award the winners between 19th and 21st September 2017.

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