Johnson & Johnson, the world's leading healthcare group, aims to collaborate with entrepreneurs, start-ups, companies, research institutes, and academics on innovative projects in Paris Region. To better understand Johnson & Johnson's activities in France, we spoke to Siau Baï, Early Innovation Partnering Director France at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, who gave us an overview of the group's mission and current areas of focus, their particular attraction to the French innovation ecosystem, and their support for R&D.
Can you tell us a bit about Johnson & Johnson, its operations in France and more precisely in the Paris Region?
As the world's largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson in France is active in three major sectors: pharmaceuticals (Janssen), medical devices (Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices), and personal care products (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health).
Janssen is the 5th largest pharmaceutical company in Europe. We are pushing the boundaries of science to fight disease. Our efforts are focused on therapeutic areas where we can make a real difference: onco-hematology, immunology, virology and infectious diseases, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and pulmonary hypertension.
Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices is the world's most comprehensive medical devices company. We are addressing pressing healthcare challenges, in surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, and are helping to save lives.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer, the 6th largest consumer healthcare company, is a major player in the world of health, well-being and cosmetics, thanks to a unique portfolio of iconic brands: Le Petit Marseillais, Neutrogena, Les Dermo-Cosmétiques de Biafine, Listerine, Nett, Vania, and several self-medication brands.
J&J in France has 2800 employees and is localized on 5 sites. The headquarters of the French operating companies for the 3 sectors of Johnson & Johnson, together with a few EU and/or global functions, are localized at Issy Les Moulineaux.
Can you tell us about your role within Johnson & Johnson?
I joined Johnson & Johnson in March 2020. I am currently working as an “Early Innovation Partnering” Director France at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, whose mission is to create the leading global innovation network to generate transformational healthcare solutions through value-creating partnerships. More precisely, as part of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre EMEA located in London, I serve as a local “scout” based in Paris, France. My role is to identify and to coordinate the evaluation by our scientific experts of all partnering opportunities in France across the three sectors of activities of Johnson & Johnson. We aim to collaborate with entrepreneurs, startups, emerging companies, research institutes and academics on innovative projects with the potential to advance transformational opportunities to address unmet medical needs. I work closely with my colleagues across the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) global network of incubators and from Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc., our venture capital arm, to offer early-stage companies a variety of potential partnerships and to give them access to all of the elements they need to develop their science and position their business for success.
Since its inception in 2013, the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre EMEA has collaborated with over 155 innovators to help advance their early-stage ideas, with France being a key country of focus.
Why is Johnson & Johnson Innovation interested in developing more partnerships with the French innovation ecosystem, and in particular innovators from Paris Region?
Johnson & Johnson has identified France as a strategic innovation ecosystem to seek out potential collaborators in the coming years. It is one of the leading European destinations for investment in R&D activities, and Paris is the leading city in terms of attractiveness for investment in R&D (Source EY). As a center of excellence for science and medicine, France benefits from an attractiveness in particular thanks to its internationally renowned research organizations (INSERM, CNRS, CEA, INRIA, of which many laboratories are in Paris Region) and hospital centers (APHP, etc.), its excellence in terms of innovation (6th country in terms of patent filings), its qualified workforce, and its established policies that support favorable tax measures for research and entrepreneurs.
Paris Region, with its concentration of industry influencers helps to facilitate our mission to strengthen a close network with this innovation ecosystem.
What led Johnson & Johnson Innovation to develop JLABS and how could the innovators from Paris Region benefit?
JLABS is a global network of incubators that provide an optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs, offering mentoring and a network of investors and partners, and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow. JLABS is a no-strings-attached model, which means entrepreneurs are free to develop their science while retaining their intellectual property. JLABS also organizes Johnson & Johnson wide thematic calls for projects, called "QuickFire Challenges."
Although there are no JLABS in France, young companies from Paris Region can apply to become a virtual member of JLABS and benefit from numerous resources, mentorship and digital services without the need to be relocated to the European JLABS incubator that is based in Beerse, Belgium.
Could you share a few words about Choose Paris Region’s support in your expansion? As well as your participation to the club's health and AI organized by the agency?
In France, Johnson & Johnson is particularly interested in partnering in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Genomics. Ramzi Temanni was appointed in early 2021 as head of the French Artificial Intelligence and Genomics team based in Paris. As a core member of the Janssen Research and Development's global Computational Sciences team, he will focus on developing an early ecosystem for innovation in France by accelerating public / private partnership activities in this field. Ramzi recently joined the “Club francilien des leaders de Lab AI” organized by Choose Paris Region: “Joining the AI executive club is an excellent opportunity to connect with experts from different sectors and share learnings about challenges in AI as well as identify opportunities to investigate posssible collaborations to solve complex real-world problems.”
What are some of Johnson & Johnson’s future plans for business in Paris Region?
We recently signed a research collaboration agreement with the Institut Pasteur and the Greater Paris hospitals (APHP), which should allow us to generate an in-depth understanding of the signaling pathways involved in chronic inflammatory diseases, using multi-omics studies from patient biological samples and associated detailed phenotypic data. We will therefore be working closely with these two institutions over the next three years.
In addition, Janssen France wishes to work with the partners of PrAIrie (PaRis Artificial Intelligence Research InstitutE), a group bringing together academic partners such as the CNRS, Inria, the Institut Pasteur, the University of Paris and the University of PSL, as well as numerous industrial partners, in order to set up public / private partnerships and support the national strategy in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Health. Janssen France, by joining the Club des Mécènes of PrAIrie in December 2020, demonstrates its commitment to innovation and joins the national effort to establish France as one of the world leaders in Artificial Intelligence and its applications.
More generally, we are always interested in meeting the players in the innovation ecosystem in France who have innovative projects that fall within our strategic topics of interest. In this context, we will renew in 2022 a new edition of the “partnering” event “Meet with J&J Innovation” which took place on May 26-27, 2021 and which enabled the J&J Innovation team to present its collaboration model. and to discuss the projects of selected applicants.
In 3 words, how would you describe (business in) Paris Region?
Innovative, vibrant, excellence
Choose Paris Experts
Yann MassonHealthcare, Life Sciences