Johnson & Johnson brings innovation lab to Canada

JLABS @ Toronto will provide 22 life sciences start-ups with the space and resources to grow.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation-Johnson & Johnson Innovation Opens

Johnson & Johnson has brought its JLABS innovation program to Toronto, aiming to support the development of start-ups in health and life sciences.

Taking up 40,000 square feet at the MaRS Discovery District, JLABS @ Toronto will provide entrepreneurs in the life sciences access to shared office and lab spaces, device prototype tools, skill-building programs and access to funding experts. They will also have access to several resources provided by IBM, including the Watson AI platform and the Bluemix cloud-based development platform.

The incubator is a cooperative effort between Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the University of Toronto, MaRS, the Government of Ontario and Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson. It has also partnered with a number of hospitals, including Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Hospital for Sick Children, Sinai Health System, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University Health Network.

“Early-stage companies need support from investors and industry partners at various stages of their development, but particularly in the run-up to clinical studies,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, in a press release.

This is the sixth JLABS space Johnson & Johnson has launched, and the first outside of the U.S. The space is hosting 22 start-ups at launch, though it can accommodate as many as 50 at one time.