Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have long been disproportionately impacted by diseases in the United States. Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 remain twice as likely to die from heart disease than their white counterparts.1 American Indians and Alaska Natives have traditionally experienced a higher mortality rate than other races across a variety of diseases, including chronic liver disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.2 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders experience tuberculosis at a rate that is 40 times higher than non-Hispanic whites (20 vs. 0.5 cases per 100,000 population).3
As part of the California Life Sciences’ (CLS) Racial & Social Equity (RSE) Initiative, a multi-year commitment to create change for the historically excluded BIPOC communities in California, there is an increased focus to address the healthcare disparities that impact these communities by advancing potential solutions designed to drive better health outcomes and to provide equitable access to care.
To that end, the members of California Life Sciences (CLS), with support from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and AbbVie, are proud to launch the CLS Inspire QuickFire Challenge for BIPOC Communities, a follow-up challenge to last year’s CLS Inspire QuickFire Challenge for Diverse Innovators. California-based innovators are invited to submit potential solutions for BIPOC communities which have been historically marginalized.
The innovator(s) with the best potential solution will receive grant funding from a total pool of $150,000, one year of complimentary California Life Sciences membership to allow awardees visibility through CLS events and programs and access to new and existing collaboration partners, and one awardee will be invited to participate in the 2023 Spring FAST Program, receiving commercialization advising from a tailored group of industry veterans.*
*Subject to the execution of the necessary documentation and (award) agreements.
We remain committed to creating equitable opportunities, whereby every person can bring their unique experiences and backgrounds to spark solutions for a better, healthier world. To help profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity, we must help address health inequities impacting BIPOC communities. Working together, we can be the unified effort to help create change for historically excluded communities in California and across the globe.
California-based innovators will be invited to submit potentially ground-breaking solutions for patient communities which have been historically marginalized, with particular interest in the following areas:
- Non-Human/Synthetic Biopharmaceutical
- Med tech/Med device
- Grant funding from a total pool of $150K
- One year of complimentary California Life Sciences membership to allow awardees visibility through CLS events and programs and access to new and existing collaboration partners
- One awardee will be invited to participate in the 2023 Spring FAST Program, receiving commercialization advising from a tailored group of industry veterans.