The winners: combining medicine and technology
The winning companies, GPOWER and Nu Eyne, from the health technologies and medical devices sectors were awarded a combined grant of KRW 150 mn (approximately €117,000).
GPOWER is an Internet of Things (IoT) skin care company that offers hardware and software solutions to help monitor, manage and improve skin health. Its overall aim is make it easy to efficiently identify weak or vulnerable skin barriers and protect skin through prevention.
Nu Eyne is a medical device company that concentrates on the treatment of ophthalmological disorders, such as dry eye syndrome and eye pain by applying neuromodulation and tissue engineering.
Both organisations will use the grant money to carry out research in the South Korean capital city, will have access to state-of-the-art facilities at Seoul Bio Hub for up to two years and will receive up to a year’s membership and coaching from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and KHIDI.
Building Korea’s future
In a bid to develop a “globally competitive ecosystem in Korea”, Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge saw the division of Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment team up with Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), Janssen Korea and Johnson & Johnson Medical Korea.
Launched in August 2017, the Seoul Innovation QuickFire Challenge strived to inspire biotech researchers, start-ups, academics and global entrepreneurs to send in innovations relating to health technologies, medical devices and therapeutics.
The winners were selected in December 2017 at the newly opened Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Seoul Bio Hub in Seoul, Korea.
Answering unmet medical needs
“All the proposals we reviewed for this first-ever Korean QuickFire Challenge were extremely encouraging, and we’re proud to award our winners, both of whom represent very promising early-stage innovation with real potential for commercialisation,” stated Melinda Richter, Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, when announcing the winners.
“We look forward to further fostering collaboration in Seoul and across the Asia Pacific region to enable future solutions that advance human health.”
Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, a global network of open innovation ecosystems, managed the Quickfire Challenge. Every single winning entry aims to provide a solution for an “important area of unmet medical need”. Each winner commits to conducting R&D on their innovation in Seoul.
“Working together with partners like the Seoul Metropolitan Government and KHIDI allows us to create a globally competitive innovation ecosystem right here in Seoul,” commented Dong Wu, Head, Asia Pacific Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
“Through the efforts of our QuickFire Challenge winners, as well as our newly opened Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Seoul Bio Hub, we are directly improving the health of patients in Korea and around the world by accelerating discovery and innovation.”