Announcing the BLUE KNIGHT™ Resident QuickFire Challenge: Accelerating Project NextGen

June 4, 2023 – Johnson & Johnson Innovation, together with The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), is proud to announce the BLUE KNIGHT™ QuickFire Challenge: Accelerating Project NextGen.

In alignment with the Project NextGen focus on advancing promising potential solutions aimed at addressing potential health security threats and improving preparedness, this challenge offers current and alumni Blue Knight residents and their collaborators the opportunity to apply for the chance to receive award funding from a total pool of $10M to help them reach their next critical developmental milestones. Through this opportunity, Project NextGen hopes to accelerate potential vaccines, therapeutics, and other enabling technologies be part of the future solutions of tomorrow.

Announced by ASPR on May 11, 2023, the ‘Project NextGen’ Initiative aims to accelerate and streamline the rapid development of the next generation of vaccines and therapeutics through public-private collaborations to align with the urgent need to further improve health security and response.

Blue Knight, a joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), launched in 2020 with an initial seven companies in residence, and in less than three years has grown to support 35+ companies in residence globally.

Applicants for the QuickFire Challenge can apply to one or both application tracks:

  • Partner: Forging collaborations can accelerate evidence generation to get to key inflection points, allowing for more rapidly deployable potential solutions that provide mutual value. For the ‘Partner’ track of this challenge, Blue Knight residents who choose to collaborate with another Blue Knight or early-stage company in their submission may apply through a joint application submission.*
  • Sole Contributor: Blue Knight residents are invited to apply to accelerate their company’s potential solution.**

Selected awardees with promising potential pre-clinical solutions will have the opportunity to receive up to $1M in award funding each and those with potential clinical-stage solutions may receive up to $3M in award funding each.

Apply at by June 30, 2023. All interested applicants are invited to join us for a virtual information session on June 8 to learn everything you need to know about the Blue Knight Resident QuickFire Challenge: Accelerating Project NextGen. Get the inside scoop on what makes an applicant stand out, learn the do’s and don’ts for submissions and ask your questions live ahead of the 6/30 deadline! Register by visiting

All awards are subject to the execution of the necessary (award) agreements.

*Applicants must have at least one Blue Knight resident, current or alumni, as a collaborator

**Applicants must be current or alumni Blue Knight residents

About Blue Knight

BLUE KNIGHT™ is a joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This collaboration aims to stimulate the innovation and incubation of science and technologies that may improve health security and response by supporting companies focused on public health threats and emerging infectious diseases. Find out more about BARDA and its mission at

Learn more about Blue Knight and hear from our current companies.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC works across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health sectors to accelerate early-stage, transformational solutions by catalyzing the best ideas, wherever they are in the world. We do this by harnessing our deep scientific capabilities coupled with a wide range of tools, including customized deal structures, company creation, incubation and startup services, capital investments and other innovative business models that aim to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, scientists and emerging companies. Our goal is to help life science and health technology innovations thrive through collaboration and partnership with the global ecosystem, so that together we can change the trajectory of human health. Meet our passionate team of science and technology experts and learn how to collaborate with us at

HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. The mission of ASPR is to assist the country in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health emergencies and disasters. Within ASPR, BARDA invests in the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products – needed to combat health security threats. To date, BARDA-supported products have achieved over 70 FDA approvals, licensures or clearances. To learn more about BARDA’s portfolio and about partnering with BARDA, visit