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Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and the Victorian State Government today announced the winners of the Victorian QuickFire Challenge: Driving Device Innovation at the recently opened Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Monash University (JJIPO@Monash) in Melbourne, Australia.

“The Victorian Government is proud to support this great opportunity for our booming medtech and pharmaceuticals sector. This program connects start-ups with the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation network and helps them get their life-improving therapies into the hands of patients.’

Philip Dalidakis MP, Victorian Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy.  

The winners were awarded grants totalling AUD300,000, mentorship and coaching from medical device experts at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and access to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS global entrepreneurial community. The winning entries came from Atmo Biosciences, RMIT University, and Spect Inc.

  • Atmo Biosciences: A non-invasive medical device in the form of an ingestible electronic capsule, developed and patented at RMIT University will be taken to market through Australia-based Atmo Biosciences. The device gathers digital health data from gas concentrations as it passes through the gut, for the screening and diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders and for assessing effects of dietary treatments on the gut.
  • RMIT University: An Australia-based RMIT University team led by Madhu Bhaskaran has developed electronics that stretch and flex, driving the development of ultra-light, stretchable, wearable sensors. The team’s transparent, unbreakable patch has been demonstrated for ultra-violet (UV) sensing and can be potentially integrated with clothing or worn on skin. The patch can quantitatively track the amount of UV radiation and exposure (both UVA and UVB).
  • Spect Inc.: US-based Spect Inc. uses advanced technology to prevent curable blindness with the aid of exponential technologies. Their first product is an eye camera and artificial intelligence platform to screen for diabetic eye disease at the point of care.

The Victorian QuickFire Challenge: Driving Device Innovation was launched on 2 March 2018 to encourage global innovators to submit game-changing, early-stage medical device technologies, with the potential to make a major difference for people suffering from the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges. Applications came in from around the globe presenting solutions across the orthopaedics, surgical, cardiovascular and digital health sectors.

“We’ve reviewed a number of very promising technologies through the Victorian QuickFire Challenge, and are pleased to congratulate the three winners, each of whose technology holds potential to transform patient care through medical device innovation. At the Center for Device Innovation, we’re excited to be able to extend our reach to support more medical device research in Victoria and help develop the next wave of life-changing solutions.”

Dr. William “Billy” Cohn, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and Executive Director, Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Cente

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, through the expanding presence of its local affiliate in Australia and in close alignment with its California Innovation Center (one of four regional innovation centres globally), is committed to building relationships with innovators at Victorian start-up companies, universities and institutes who are developing early-stage solutions that are pre-proof of concept in humans across pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and health tech.

The QuickFire Challenge is managed by JLABS, 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. The competition combines Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s robust global network with the Victorian State Government’s state-wide commitment to fostering a globally competitive, commercially viable and sustainable innovation ecosystem in Victoria.

“We’re extremely proud to be collaborating with the Victorian State Government to nurture the innovation ecosystem right here in Melbourne, at one of the world’s largest life science clusters. Through the efforts of our winners and with the support of Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s key stakeholders across government, academia and industry, we can help advance breakthrough surgical therapies for patients in Australia and positively impact human health here and around the world.”

Rowan Chapman, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California.

The Victorian QuickFire Challenge is the fifth Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge launched in the Asia Pacific region, following the recent launch of the Shanghai Innovation Lung Cancer QuickFire Challenge in June. Winners of the QuickFire Challenges have access to the JLABS global entrepreneurial community, including the recently announced Asia Pacific innovation community at JLABS @ Shanghai, expected to open in Q2 2019.

For more information about the QuickFire Challenge, please visit: jlabs.jnjinnovation.com/quickfire-challenges.