Bank of America has signed on as a Founding Corporate Sponsor of SciTech Scity, Liberty Science Center’s (LSC) planned 30-acre innovation campus that will launch and grow dozens of world-changing science and technology companies and reimagine K-12 science education.
LSC officials announced Tuesday that Bank of America donated $1 million to the effort, which will ensure that the scientists of tomorrow will be prepared with the tools and technologies they need to deal with future crises, as well as to discover and pioneer breakthroughs that will make the world a better place for years to come.
The $280 million SciTech Scity project will feature a biotech lab, a coding lab, a technology business incubator, and a K12 STEM-focused school, as well as a scholar’s village with residences for visiting scientists.
While focusing on emerging science and tech businesses, SciTech Scity is intended to attract already established technology companies to locate in Jersey City, as part of Mayor Fulop’s plan to grow Jersey City’s technology sector. SciTech Scity would also be an educational hub for the entire community with residents of all ages being able to utilize the leading-edge facilities, such as the coding lab to develop new apps or learn to write code.
“SciTech Scity will be a community of people and companies who come together to invent the future,” Paul Hoffman, LSC president and CEO, said when he introduced the plan in 2017. “This transformative project will happen because of the unique partnership between Liberty Science Center and Jersey City, and Mayor Fulop’s visionary leadership.”
Plans for SciTech Scity include Liberty Science K-12 School, which will focus on science and technology education for Jersey City students and develop new curriculum that can be shared around the world; Edge Work, a workplace with more than 160,000 square feet of research labs, private studios, open workspaces, and a conference center; a Scholars Village providing short and long-term residences for those working at or visiting SciTech Scity in addition to STEM graduate students in the area.
“The coronavirus is reshaping our world in ways we could not have imagined, and it is essential to think beyond the current environment and consider future impacts,” said Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America and LSC trustee. “Addressing upcoming challenges will require bold, creative solutions across the public and private sectors. Liberty Science Center’s SciTech Scity will help nurture pioneering advancements for the betterment of all.”
“We are grateful to Bank of America for its confidence in our vision,” Hoffman said of the funding. “Science and technology are the keys to the economic, social, and intellectual future of our country. With SciTech Scity, we are building a unique campus to foster science and tech entrepreneurship.”
In addition to its financial support, Bank of America is lending its leadership expertise as their Head of Global Business Services Sumeet Chabria joins the SciTech Scity board of trustees. Chabria is a thought leader on the impact of artificial intelligence and in this capacity represents the bank at various U.S. government forums and as a member of the Council on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence at the Harvard Kennedy School. His responsibilities at the bank also include providing scalable and shared technology and operations services to all lines of business and managing all technology contractors and resourcing vendors.
“Bank of America is proud to be a founding partner of SciTech Scity as it works to invent a better future, today,” said Chabria. “What the coronavirus has demonstrated is not only the importance of science and technology in our daily lives, but the need for more STEM talent to accelerate the pace of innovation with vision and purpose. SciTech Scity is creating that vision and purpose with a one-of-a-kind environment where science and technology leaders can thrive and achieve their full potential.”
With this significant grant, Bank of America joins EY and Verizon as Founding Corporate Sponsors of SciTech Scity. Other anchor supporters include the City of Jersey City; Joseph D. and Millie E. Williams; LSC Board Cochair David Barry; and former Congressman Frank J. Guarini, who donated $10 million in December, LSC’s largest gift.
The SciTech Scity campus will be named the Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus and includes 12.5 acres donated by Jersey City, where the new construction will be, and the existing Liberty Science Center, home to the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
SciTech Scity is a “City of Tomorrow” where companies and researchers test — and residents and visitors experience — new high-tech products and services before they come to market. It will bring together entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, students, and other thinkers and doers “who share Alan Kay’s prescription that the best way to predict the future is to invent it,” said Hoffman.
The first phase of SciTech Scity, on a path to open in late 2022 or 2023, includes the following new construction projects:
• Edge Works: A central location for innovation comprising two distinct hubs. The Works will have a fabrication lab, research and development spaces, offices, and co-working areas for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The Co-Creation Center will be a state-of-the-art conference center and tech exhibition gallery.
• Scholars Village: Residential housing for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, STEM graduate students, and individuals and families who desire to be a part of the SciTech Scity community.
• Public Commons: Five-acre outdoor park with activations that encourage exploration, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. An events plaza for concerts, farmers markets, art exhibitions, and food truck festivals.
Subsequent phases of SciTech Scity will include expanded incubation space, a science-focused public school, and other facilities to drive STEM innovation and job creation.