Johnson & Johnson to build JPOD hub at University of Pennsylvania

Networking hub is designed to connect the company with Penn researchers and local startups to fast-track new technologies.
By Bernie Monegain
11:55 AM
Johnson & Johnson to build innovation lab at University of Pennsylvania

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday announced plans to launch JPOD @ Philadelphia with the University of Pennsylvania. 

Specifically, J&J will collaborate with the University of Pennsylvania on the project and locate its JPOD within the Pennovation Center, a two-year-old technology incubator. 

Academic medical centers and health systems are increasingly establishing innovation centers to foster ecosystems of innovation, run pilot tests and either move cutting-edge technologies into production or ultimately commercialize them for a profit. 

Most recently, Denver-based UC Health said it is building an innovation center and already collaborating with more than 70 regional organizations and Emory Healthcare announced an Innovation Hub to raise funding for early-stage technologies. 

The new JPOD is a networking hub that includes a secure telecommunications conferencing system to connect regional innovators to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation network and, in turn, offer participating innovators with training and mentoring. The goal is to identify early-stage healthcare ventures from the Philadelphia region and then fast-track development and potential commercialization of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer health tools. 

To kick things off, J&J and Penn will launch the JPOD @ Philadelphia QuickFire Challenge, which J&J said will open soon via its JLABS website, though a specific date has not yet been set. 

“We hope the innovators in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania will increase their probability of making a difference for all of us," Melinda Richter, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation said in a statement.

JPOD @ Philadelphia, the first Johnson & Johnson has opened in the U.S., follows one the company built in Canada with the University of Alberta in 2017.

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