Johnson and Johnson creates new design lab in Singapore

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Johnson and Johnson creates new design lab in Singapore
Multinational packaging and manufacturing company, Johnson & Johnson, prepares to launch its latest design facility in Science Park, Singapore, marking its first innovation unit outside New York.

The soon-to-be-unveiled facility, located in Singapore’s Science Park, will collate all of the pharmaceutical name’s Singapore-based offices into one single area.

Building APAC innovation

Tipped to open in May 2018, the company’s strategic launch is the first-of-its-kind in Asia Pacific, and the first building to promote brand experience and production excellence outside of New York, North America.

As the household name plans to focus its attention on beauty, skin care, vision and myopia, it plans to develop Singapore as a “central hub of operations"​, a report from The Strait Times revealed​.

"For us to succeed in the future, knowing that the Asia-Pacific is going to continue to blossom, we need to have that design and insights capability here in the region,"​ Ernesto Quinteros, Chief Design Officer, Johnson & Johnson stated.

Design capabilities

Singapore was selected as the ideal location for the company’s new design lab due to its strong infrastructure, education and design community.

Singapore Design Week, which included the Brainstorm Design conference took place in March. It provided an opportunity for the region to share ideas and insights on how best to develop Johnson & Johnson's 900-strong Asia-Pacific headquarters.

Covering business areas including consumer, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Quinteros added: "As we start to take ideas and prototype, we might see some 3D printing, we might also do partnerships with some of the education institutions here.”

Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, the government agency supporting the company in its design expansion complements Singapore’s “innovation-led economic growth”​ approach.  

Currently, “the large scale of the wants and needs of Asian customers”​ need to be answered to overcome differing price points and the platforms used to communicate these preferences.

Copying New York’s design blueprint

In January 2017, Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced it would be opening a 30,000-square foot facility at the New York Genome Centre, which is also due to open in 2018.

After launching a QuickFire Challenge in 2017 to encourage companies in the areas of biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health companies, the site will also be open to these companies.

“Our hope is that JLABS @ NYC will provide a resource-rich environment for innovators throughout the New York region where today’s ideas can become healthcare products that truly impact patients’ lives,”​ shared Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson.

“Home to more than 100 research foundations and nine medical centres, New York City has the foundational elements for a thriving biomedical ecosystem, yet lack of infrastructure and commercialization support has been a roadblock for entrepreneurs in the life sciences in the greater New York region,”​ said Melinda Richter, Head, JLABS.

“By providing healthcare startups with the laboratories, equipment, expertise, tools and capabilities that they need to build and grow their companies, we believe JLABS in NYC will fill a key gap in resources and remove a barrier to growth for the region’s life science innovation ecosystem, providing well-paying jobs and allowing potentially transformative solutions for patients to advance.”

Singapore is the next step in Johnson & Johnson’s innovation plans.

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