The World Without Disease pitch contest Creating a future where disease is a thing in the past

Your opportunity to pitch ideas in a three minute presentation that could help us reach a world without disease.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, together with the The University of Tokyo Center of Innovation “Self-Managing Healthy Society”, Tokyo University of Science and WASEDA-EDGE Global Talent Development Program, is calling on students to participate in a major new pitch contest aimed at incubating new ideas that could help us achieve the ambitious goal of a disease-free future.

At Janssen, we blend heart, science and ingenuity to chase after the unimaginable and to achieve what was thought to be impossible. We do this in partnership with both small and large companies and institutions, including centers of academic excellence – and today, we extend this to students here in Japan – as we look to support and encourage innovators of tomorrow.

Winners will be invited on a two-week trip to the United States

*The timing of this tour will be decided after consultation with winners.

*If teams win, a representative of each team will be invited to the tour (total 2 people).

Trip to visit a premier life science incubator network

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Winners of the pitch contest will be invited on a two-week trip to the United States, during which they will visit a number of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, a network of life science incubators empowering and enabling innovators to deliver life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to people around the world.

The trip will include a variety of activities, including meetings with resident companies, laboratory tours, interviews with lab operators, and participation in networking events.

*Please note that these activities will be held in English, and no translation service will be available.

Our hope is that through the World Without Disease Pitch Contest we will inspire students to actively pursue careers in the life science industry and help to address future challenges here in Japan and around the world.

Overview of the Pitch Contest

Entrants must prepare a three-minute video presentation, during which they introduce an innovative idea on how together we could achieve a world without disease.

Ideas can involve art, science, medicine, engineering, architecture, information technology, education, policy, finance, philosophy and communication, or any other area that could help treat, reduce or eliminate the impact of disease, strengthen health systems and elevate awareness of the health challenges facing Japan and the world. Ideas should be aspirational and challenge conventional thinking – and we encourage students not to be restricted to only what they think is possible.

Selection process Please pitch your idea to create a World Without Disease in a three - minute video.
10 entries will be selected as finalists and they will be invited to make a three-minute presentation at the final event held on September 27.
Two winners will be announced at the event.
Who can apply The pitch contest is open to all university students in Japan above the age of 18, regardless of nationality or the subject they are studying, and includes both graduates and undergraduates.

August 9 - September 17 (period extended) Preliminary contest – submit your idea with a three-minute video via the entry page.

Mid September10 entries will be selected as finalists, and all entrants will be notified of whether they have been successfully shortlisted or not.

September 2710 finalists will be invited to make a three-minute presentation at the final event and two winners will be announced.

Program Co-Sponsors The University of Tokyo Center of Innovation “Self-Managing Healthy Society”
Tokyo University of Science
WASEDA-EDGE Global Talent Development Program
Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K.

Preliminary Contest - Video Submission

Entrants must present their ideas in video format (maximum three-minutes) – submitted via the entry page here.

  • Please explain your idea clearly for the judges and our audience.
  • There is no right answer for this contest and we are expecting creative ideas.
  • Tools such as smartphones, musical instruments, PowerPoint and keynote are permitted, but the video should contain a clear voice explaining the idea and feature the entrant(s).
  • Videos can be submitted in English or Japanese.
  • Infringement of copyright is prohibited.
  • Videos must be 600MB or less and in one of the following formats: mp4, mov.
  • Entries can be from an individual or from a team of students. If a team is chosen as the eventual winner, they can nominate one student to participate in the trip to the United States.
  • The competition will remain open for video entries until 11:00 pm on September 17. (period extended)
  • 10 finalists will be selected by nominees of co-sponsors. All entrants will be notified of the result by Mid September.
Further guidance can be found here.

Final Contest

  • The final Contest will take place on September 27 from 10:45 – 15:00 at a venue in Tokyo. Details will be shared with the finalists.
  • During this session, finalists will be invited to make a three-minute pitch of their idea to the judges and audience.
  • The idea should be the same as the one submitted in video format, but you may modify your presentation.
  • The submitted video will not be played at the final contest.
  • Presentation can be in English or Japanese, but the contest itself is in Japanese. No translation will be provided.
  • Judges will deliberate and make an announcement of the two final winners during this session, with a presentation ceremony to follow.
  • Travel and accommodation will be provided for entrants travelling from outside of Tokyo.

The universities and majors of the entrants will not be disclosed to the judges prior to the winners being announced.

If you would like to join the audience for the final contest, please make an application before September 20 via the entry page here. If the maximum number of people is exceeded, there will be a lottery.

Our Judges

photo: Dr. Chiaki Mukai

Dr. Chiaki Mukai

Japanese physician and JAXA astronaut (1994/1998). Vice President, Tokyo University of Science, and Director of the Research Center for Space Colony.

photo: Professor Yoshinori Osumi

Professor Yoshinori Osumi

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2016), and Specially Appointed Professor and Professor Emeritus, Institute of Innovative Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Professor Emeritus, National Graduate School of Science and Technology, Professor Emeritus, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Professor Emeritus, National Institute of Basic Biology and Honorary Professor, University of Tokyo.

photo: Ms. Marin Minamiya

Ms. Marin Minamiya

An adventurist who in April 2017 became the youngest person in the world to complete The Explorer’s Grand Slam – reaching the North Pole, South Pole and Seven Summits.

photo: Yuichi Tei / Ung-il Chung, MD, PhD

Yuichi Tei / Ung-il Chung, MD, PhD.

Deputy Director, Center of Innovation “Self-Managing Healthy Society” & Professor, Graduate Schools of Engineering and Medicine, The University of Tokyo
Dean, School of Health Innovation, Kanagawa University of Human Services.

photo: Mr. Mitsuru Miyata

Mr. Mitsuru Miyata

Life science journalist and CEO of Miyata Research Institute.

World Without Disease Secretariat

If you have any questions regarding the entry process or the competition, please contact