Bank of America has signed on as corporate sponsor with a $1 million donation towards the Liberty Science Center’s SciTech Scity project: a 30-acre campus “innovation campus” with an estimated cost of $280 million.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œThe 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,â€ said Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America and an LSC trustee.
â€œAddressing upcoming challenges will require bold, creative solutions across the public and private sectors. Liberty Science Centerâ€™s SciTech Scity will help nurture pioneering advancements for the betterment of all.â€
In addition to their financial support, Bank of America’s Head of Global Business Services Sumeet Chabria is joining the SciTech Scity board of trustees.
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.
â€œWe are grateful to Bank of America for its confidence in our vision,â€ said LSC President and CEO Paul Hoffman.
â€œScience 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.â€
â€œBank of America is proud to be a founding partner of SciTech Scity as it works to invent a better future, today,â€ added Chabria.
â€œWhat 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.â€
With this significant grant, Bank of America joins Ernest and Young – their founding sponsor – 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 Co- Chair David Barry; and former Congressman Frank J. Guarini, who donated $10 million in December, LSCâ€™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 â€œCity of Tomorrowâ€ where companies and researchers test â€” and residents and visitors experience â€” new high-tech products and services before they come to market.
The first phase of SciTech Scity, on a path to open in late 2022 or 2023, includes the following new construction projects:
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
The Jersey City Council approved a measure back in March 2017 transferring city owned land to the local redevelopment agency so that SciTech Scity could be built.
Some residents spoke out against the project, arguing that the 12 or so acres of land was being severely undervalued, but many still spoke in favor of the development and the governing body ultimately still approved it.
Hoffman said at the time that $78 million will come from philanthropists, with another $55 million coming from investors.