Governor Phil Murphy has announced that the state will invest up to $20 million in SciTech Scity, the “tech innovation hub” to be built next to Liberty Science Center.
Liberty Science Center is in the planning stages of a $450 million expansion to build what will become the 30-acre Sci Tech Scity “innovation campus.” An eight-story “business creation hub” will house laboratories, research and development spaces, office suites, co-working spaces for start-ups, a tech exhibition gallery, and a state-of-the-art conference center.
The investment will be made through “Edge Works,” a collaboration between the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and SciTech Scity, and will develop and manage a 120,000-square-foot life sciences, health care, and tech innovation hub adjacent to the Liberty Science Center. Ultimately, the Edgeworks project is projected to cost more than $116 million.
In addition to Edge Works, SciTech Scity will also include Liberty Science Center High School, a new public STEM high school for Hudson County; and Scholars Village, consisting of 500 units of residential housing “for tech-forward families and individuals.”
Liberty Science Center High School has drawn criticism from some quarters, with complaints that Jersey City is funding a disproportionate share of the costs compared to other Hudson County municipalities and that the money would be better used to upgrade decrepit Jersey City public school buildings.
“Edge Works will build upon New Jersey’s legacy as the ‘medicine chest’ of the world by fueling the economic benefits of this and other industries in North Jersey and contributing to our efforts to cultivate the most diverse, inclusive innovation ecosystem in the nation,” said Governor Murphy. “This new hub of innovation will support dozens of promising New Jersey entrepreneurs in the nation’s most ethnically diverse city. In turn, the hub will have access to Jersey City’s unparalleled talent pool, and all the infrastructure, academic, and technological prowess right outside its doors that only SciTech Scity and Liberty Science Center can provide.”
A key focus area of Edge Works will be health care and life sciences, particularly a new model of health care that emphasizes prevention and early detection of disease through the development, testing, and adoption of digital home health technology. SciTech Scity anchor tenant, the Israeli Sheba Medical Center, will create Liberty Science ARC HealthSpace 2030, a “hospital of the future” simulation space on the top floor of Edge Works.
Sheba is ranked by Newsweek among the World’s Top 10 Hospitals for the past four years and is an international leader in medical innovation, collaborating with health centers around the globe to develop groundbreaking techniques and life-saving treatments. Edge Works is expected to create nearly 800 construction jobs, and more than 400 permanent positions.
Governor Murphy and Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman were among the dignitaries that broke ground on the 30-acre, $450 million STS project in October 2021.
“For 30 years Liberty Science Center has inspired the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. We look forward to our expanded mission of starting new companies that use science and technology to address humanity’s greatest challenges and create a better future for all of us” said Hoffman.