• Top innovators to be awarded up to $10,000 during the LIVE, virtual event as part of IDWeek 2020
  • Submission deadline extended to August 16, 2020 – visit IDea Incubator to apply


Newswise — ARLINGTON, Va. – Aug. 11, 2020 – For a third consecutive year, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Foundation will showcase the IDea Incubator Pitch Competition, aimed to support entrepreneurs and researchers working in the area of infectious diseases during IDWeek 2020, October 21-25. IDWeek is the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP).

Originally launched by Javeed Siddiqui, M.D., M.P.H., co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of TeleMed2U in 2018, the IDea Incubator was created with the aim to help drive innovation in the infectious diseases space. “Now, more than ever, innovation is crucial, and the inventions presented here could potentially play a role in solving some of the biggest issues in infectious diseases,” said Javeed Siddiqui, M.D., M.P.H. “By providing an incentive of getting funded through this competition, we aim to open doors to help support early-stage ventures. The feedback and visibility the competitors receive through the process could help propel early-stage concepts into their next stages of development.”

Many past competitors have continued to advance their projects, including Mian Qassim, M.D., who presented his solar oxygen invention (2018, 2nd place awardee), and continued to raise an additional $1 million in funding to help advance his idea.

Ideas submitted for consideration to participate in the live pitch competition must meet the needs of a specific target population and be explicitly defined and quantified in the specifications of the invention/idea. All applications must also include an original invention, product, device, or innovative concept aimed at improving infectious disease care. Through the Incubator, selected applicants will have the opportunity to receive live feedback from expert judges in business, technology, and medicine industries, and the chance to shine in front of thousands of members of the ID community attending IDWeek. 

“Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS is thrilled to collaborate with IDSA Foundation to help support the IDea Incubator,” said Rachel Rath, M.B.A., M.P.H., BARDA Alliance Director, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS. “Competition can spark innovation and this event gives students and professionals from around the world an opportunity to advance their potential solutions that may play a role in helping protect individuals from the threat of infectious diseases today and towards still unknown threats of the future.”  

Last year’s awardees, Sai Dodda, Pharm.D., clinical coordinator, and Chris Sleckman, M.S., engineer, both of HIVE, a student-run biotech startup at Washington University in St. Louis were awarded the grand prize for the OPAT monitoring device. The OPAT monitoring device is a sensor that detects when IV medication is connected to a patient’s peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line, enabling real-time monitoring, and allowing for closely monitored care at a lower cost than in-hospital therapy. The inventors have filed a non-provisional patent and are applying for an NIH grant to help fund a clinical trial.

Three finalists will have the opportunity to present their potential innovations in front of a live virtual audience and a judging panel for a cash award of $10,000 at IDWeek 2020 which will be held virtually. Submissions for the 2020 IDea Incubator are being accepted through August 16. Innovators with an original idea aimed to improve ID care are encouraged to apply. To learn more or to apply visit IDSAFoundation.org/IDeaIncubator


About IDSA Foundation

The IDSA Foundation is the nation’s leading non-profit organization committed to reducing the burdens of infectious diseases. Founded in 2001, the IDSA Foundation is the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s charitable arm, committed to providing career development opportunities, supporting education and funding research. The Foundation aims to empower the next generation of ID leaders, to support innovative research and to advocate for advancements in patient care.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS

Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health tech sectors to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS achieves this by providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS is collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of stimulating innovation and incubation of science and technologies that aim to improve health security and response through companies with science and technologies focused on public health threats and emerging infectious diseases with the goal of improving health security and response. Visit jlabs.jnjinnovation.com for more information.