SciTech Scity, Liberty Science Center’s planned campus to launch and grow dozens of world-changing science and technology companies and reimagine K-12 science education, received a major boost last night when Paul Hoffman, LSC President and CEO, announced a gift of $10 million from distinguished philanthropist, statesman, and real estate developer Frank J. Guarini.
The donation from Guarini, the deeply respected former U.S. Representative and New Jersey State Senator, is the largest ever to the Center. The generous gift has been matched 50 cents on the dollar by a $5 million pledge from LSC Co-Chair David Barry on behalf of himself and other Jersey City developers. The $15 million in new investment—on top of financial support from founding corporate sponsors EY and Verizon, Joe and Millie Williams, and other philanthropists, and 12.5 acres of land donated by Jersey City and valued at $18 million—puts the first phase of SciTech Scity on a path to open in late 2022. The 30-acre SciTech Scity campus includes Liberty Science Center and will be named the Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus.
“Many of us believe that the renaissance of Jersey City began with Frank Guarini’s visionary work,” said Hoffman. “As a real estate leader, political leader, and businessman, Frank has fostered Jersey City’s success with intelligence, integrity, humor, and elegance. His $10 million gift to SciTech Scity will ensure that Jersey City has a bright future as a world-class center for innovation.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who led the city’s efforts to donate the land for SciTech Scity, added, “I have had the honor of knowing Frank for many years. By making this historic gift to Liberty Science Center for SciTech Scity, Frank’s generosity will help so many people as it solidifies Jersey City’s future as a hub for science and technology innovators, educators and entrepreneurs.”
Added Hoffman, “David Barry has been an inspirational board chair of Liberty Science Center and an innovative real estate developer in Jersey City. He’s been a friend and mentor to me and LSC, and the $5 million pledge on behalf of himself and other developers brings SciTech Scity closer to reality.”
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. “The Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus 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 includes Liberty Science Center and the following new construction:
- Edge Works: A central location for innovation comprising two distinct hubs. The Works will be a fabrication lab, research and development labs, offices, and co-working space 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 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; a playful boardwalk that breaks through buildings; greenhouses; interactive water features; and a 40-foot-tall iconic art installation.
Subsequent phases of SciTech Scity will include expanded incubation facilities, a science-focused public school, and other facilities to drive STEM innovation and job creation.
“Technology entrepreneurship is at the heart of the transformative age we are living in,” said Michael J. Inserra, Americas Deputy Managing Partner of EY, one of SciTech Scity’s founding corporate sponsors. “The strong leadership and ambitious plans for Liberty Science Center and SciTech Scity are perfectly aligned to our focus on driving innovation and building a better working world. So, we are excited to bring EY’s energy to this cutting-edge effort which, ultimately, is about inventing the future.”
Added Matthew Ellis, CFO of Verizon, a founding corporate sponsor of SciTech Scity: “Emerging technologies like virtual reality, 3D design and 5G communications are changing how we live, work and play in ways never imagined before. As with all transformative innovations, they started with an idea that was then researched, nurtured and developed. That is what SciTech Scity aims to champion, and it’s complementary to Verizon’s mission to enhance digital inclusion in local communities around the world to address barriers and enable connectivity to those who need it most. We are excited to partner with Liberty Science Center on this far-reaching initiative.”
The historic $10 million gift from Guarini to SciTech Scity was announced at “The Genius of New Jersey,” LSC’s inaugural celebration of the state’s most creative minds in applied science, at which Hoffman paid tribute to the Jersey City native.
DEVCO, led by Christopher Paladino, is the master developer of SciTech Scity; Erikjan Vermeulen of Concrete in Amsterdam serves as the design architect; and Neil Porter at Gustafson Porter Bowman in London is the landscape architect.
About Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot nonprofit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson 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 interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.