Johnson & Johnson Innovation is extending its biotechnology incubator network into Europe with the launch of JLINX in Belgium, tasked with catalysing scientific innovations by offering start-ups flexible ways to grow and collaborate across the European life science ecosystem.

JLINX will be housed on the Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium, and will be managed through a close collaboration between J&J Innovation and bioqube ventures, which will provide independent oversight for venture funding and company selection. 

The company will provide entrepreneurs with opportunities to share ideas and collaborate with each other while accessing a unique combination of resources including investment, infrastructure, and access to relevant internal and external scientific, technical and business expertise, the firm said. 

“The mission of Johnson & Johnson Innovation is to identify and advance the best science - internal or external - to bring healthcare solutions to patients and consumers around the world,” said Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals. “This new initiative has been designed to foster the creative start-up culture in Europe that can accelerate breakthroughs.”

“We believe the benefits of this collaboration will go far beyond developing successful new businesses. This new initiative will fuel the evolution of new models for scientific collaboration across the healthcare industry and foster the development of transformational solutions to the people who need them,” said William Hait, global head, Janssen Research & Development.

Investment in promising innovation through the JLINX initiative is venture-based and J&J companies will not hold any specific rights to commercialised products by virtue of the JLINX relationship. The new initiative is already accepting applications and should be fully operational by this summer. 

In alignment with the recently launched Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, JLINX will have a particular focus on human microbiome research, alongside other areas of innovation in pharmaceuticals and cross-disciplinary healthcare solutions.