BofA contributes $1M to LSC’s SciTech Scity, joins founding corporate sponsors

SciTech Scity, the state-of-the-art, 30-acre innovation campus that hopes to launch and grow dozens of world-changing science and technology companies and reimagine K-12 science education at Liberty Science Center, announced Monday that Bank of America will become a corporate partner in the project.

Bank of America announced it is contributing $1 million to the effort. The bank also is lending its leadership expertise, as Sumeet Chabria, its head of global business services, will join the SciTech Scity board of trustees.

Sumeet Chabria of Bank of America.

Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America and an LSC trustee, said the bank has dedicated more than $100 million to coronavirus response efforts to help tackle pressing health and humanitarian issues facing those most vulnerable — including access to education.

The SciTech Scity project, she said, is a perfect fit.

“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,” she said. “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.”

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 co-Chair David Barry; and former U.S. Rep. Frank J. Guarini, who donated $10 million in December, LSC’s largest gift.

Liberty Science Center CEO Paul Hoffman said he is grateful for Bank of America’s gift — as well as the bank showing a belief in what LSC is doing.

“We are grateful to Bank of America for its confidence in our vision,” he said. “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.”

Hoffman said SciTech Scity 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.

Chabria hopes to help in that vision.

He 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.

File photo
Liberty Science Center’s Paul Hoffman, left, with Gov. Phil Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy.

“Bank of America is proud to be a founding partner of SciTech Scity, as it works to invent a better future, today,” he said. “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.”

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,” Hoffman said.

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 coworking areas for startups 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: 5-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.