How J&J is building its global network of innovation centers

rurbanlargeLast fall, Johnson & Johnson announced its plans to set up a network of four new innovation centers, in Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Mass., London, and Shanghai.

The mission is to help Johnson & Johnson connect better with entrepreneurs starting new healthcare ventures, and academic researchers who might be on the verge of their next big (and potentially commercializable) breakthrough.

To understand how the innovation centers are set up and staffed, and what J&J’s expectations for them are, we dropped in on Robert Urban, left, head of the Cambridge Innovation Center. It opened in June; Urban joined J&J earlier this year from MIT, where he was the administrative director of the Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research, a prominent life sciences research lab at the university. walldetail(At right is a detail of a whiteboard mural at the office; the complete photo is below.)

Here’s the quick blueprint for these new innovation centers, followed by audio from our interview with Urban, and photos of the new space.

    • The innovation centers report into Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer.

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