Eight-Story Innovation Hub at Liberty Science Center’s SciTech City Will Drive Industry Growth in North Jersey
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (November 16, 2023) – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and SciTech Scity LLC (“STS”), have signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a limited liability company to be called “Edge Works” to develop, construct, and manage an approximately 120,000-square-foot life sciences, health care, and tech innovation hub adjacent to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. Pending approval by its Board, the NJEDA intends to invest up to $20 million in Edge Works. Anticipated costs for the Edge Works project totals more than $116 million.
Liberty Science Center is engaged in a large, $450-million expansion to build what will become the 30-acre STS innovation campus located in Jersey City and officially named the Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus. The eight-story business creation hub of STS, will house laboratories, research & development spaces, office suites, coworking spaces for dozens of start-ups, a tech exhibition gallery, and a state-of-the-art conference center. 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.
“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 Phil 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 is 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. STS anchor tenant Sheba Medical Center (Sheba), a leading Israeli hospital, will be creating 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.
“Edge Works clearly aligns with Governor Murphy’s vision for strategic innovation centers and continued leadership in the life sciences and health care. We are thrilled to work with the STS team to make this promising concept come alive and ensure North Jersey reaps the educational, economic, and job creation benefits of the high-growth life sciences sector,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Sullivan. “The Letter of Intent announced today and the planned investment will help to generate high-quality jobs in the near-term, but also plants the seeds for the career opportunities and economic activity the companies that grow at Edge Works will create long into the future.”
Governor Murphy and Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman were among the leaders that broke ground on the 30-acre, $450 million STS project in October 2021.
“We are grateful to Governor Murphy and the NJEDA for the state’s investment in SciTech Scity,” Hoffman said. “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. Edge Works and SciTech Scity are guided by the vision that the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
“SciTech Scity is a revolutionary project where we are establishing Jersey City and New Jersey as a premier destination for innovation and collaboration while providing coveted opportunities ranging from public education for our youth to STEM-based jobs to investment and everything in between,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop, City of Jersey City. “I am incredibly grateful for Governor Murphy’s and the NJEDA’s support, as this funding is vital in moving forward with SciTech Scity and our vision for economic growth.”
“Investments into New Jersey’s robust innovation ecosystem drive our state forward, ensuring we continue to lead the nation in the science, health care, and technology space,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “Edge Works is an exciting opportunity for both the scientific community and Jersey City. This proposed investment into the innovation hub and partnership with the Liberty Science Center will stimulate the local economy, attract new businesses to our state, and spur further scientific advancements addressing the most pressing issues facing society.”
“We couldn’t be more excited by this announcement,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “Edge Works will create the very kinds of research, enterprise creation, and employment opportunities we hope our students attending the new Liberty Science Center STEM High School will seek out and be recruited for in the future.”
Edge Works tenant companies will benefit from STS’ collaboration with colleges and universities to advance real-world applications for cutting-edge science and technology. The 170,000-student and faculty academic ecosystem that STS is bringing together includes Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hudson County Community College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NYU Tandon School of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Stevens Institute of Technology. STS will work with these institutions to showcase their most important innovations and promote their research and talent to the venture capital and corporate innovation communities.
Strategic Innovation Centers, the program through which the NJEDA would collaborate with STS, are facilities that either directly support research and development (R&D), innovation, or entrepreneurship or are aimed at solving specific problems in new and innovative ways through a combination of services such as mentorship, networking opportunities, hands-on training, business support services, education opportunities, and/or access to testing, fabrication, or manufacturing facilities and equipment. The Centers can take many forms such as: accelerators, incubators, research centers, innovative service delivery centers, or multi-tenant innovation clusters. Most have a common goal of being a physical location that brings people together to advance innovation. They are often focused on a specific industry or around solving a specific problem. They build a community cluster of like-minded individuals that collaborate on solving a common problem or advancing a common goal. The ability to coalesce entrepreneurs and innovators at a central location often leads to a quicker time to market and greater success.
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About the SciTech Scity
Liberty Science Center is developing a “Science City of Tomorrow” in Jersey City—a 30-acre innovation campus called SciTech Scity devoted to using science and technology to address humanity’s greatest challenges, from inadequate health care to climate change, and create a better future for all of us.
In addition to the existing Liberty Science Center, home of the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, the first $450-million phase scheduled to start opening in 2025 includes Edge Works, an eight-story business-creation center with laboratories, R&D spaces, office suites, co-working spaces, a tech exhibition gallery, and a state-of-the-art conference center. Scholars Village, built and operated by Alpine Residential, will provide 500 apartments for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and tech-forward families and individuals. Liberty Science Center High School, a new public magnet STEM high school, will be built by the Hudson County Improvement Authority and operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology. A three-acre outdoor Public Commons will feature art installations and space for performances, farmers markets, and maker fairs.
Learn more at SciTechScity.com.
About Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot, not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers and bringing the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology to learners of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher development programs. More than 250,000 students visit the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participate in the Center’s off-site and online programs. Welcoming more than 750,000 visitors annually, LSC is the largest cultural institution in New Jersey and the largest interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.