SciTech Scity, the 30-acre “Science City of Tomorrow” innovation campus being developed by Liberty Science Center adjacent to its main facility in Jersey City, long has been envisioned as a place where innovation will take on the greatest challenges of our day.
Thanks to a new and expansive collaboration between Ernst & Young and LSC, it will do just that — and start the process before the campus opens in 2025.
This week, the two entities announced a partnership in which they will attempt to transform the current health care model in the country, creating a proactive, more effective and less expensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of illnesses to catch them early on, manage them more effectively or prevent them before they even arise.
Health care in Hudson County
Although sick care is a national challenge, it is especially pronounced in Hudson County, one of the fastest-growing, densely populated and most diverse in the U.S.
Hudson County itself remains a tale of two cities, with median incomes and rent prices at the Jersey City waterfront being comparable to Downtown Manhattan but falling dramatically just a few miles inland. The poverty rate in Hudson County is almost 1.5 times the national average, and the number of doctors and health care professionals per capita is the lowest in New Jersey.
“We feel a strong shared responsibility to our community,” Liberty Science Center CEO Paul Hoffman said. “Underserved neighborhoods that lack access to specialized medical care will benefit the most from health care that meets people where they live. SciTech Scity will work to foster the development and adoption of digital and home health technology.”
To do so, EY US will assume the role of lead orchestrator of a unique interdisciplinary Healthcare Innovation Engine. As such, EY will engage with a diverse group of stakeholders, including medical providers; established companies in the pharmaceutical, medtech and consumer health sectors; entrepreneurs and startups; medical insurers; community leaders and representatives; the academic community; and national, state and local public health officials.
Home health technology also will be vetted in a medical-care-of-the-future simulation center being built and operated at SciTech Scity by a leading medical center in Israel.
Residents of Scholars Village, the 500 units of housing at SciTech Scity, will then have the opportunity to test the home health technology and improve their own health outcomes. Controlled tests also will be conducted in households in high-need neighborhoods in Hudson County — all under the guidance of the necessary governmental approval and regulatory boards and agencies.
LSC CEO Paul Hoffman is excited by the possibilities of addressing a health care model in this country that is primarily reactive sick care — doctors, nurses and other medical professionals focus on treating the symptoms of an illness or condition – one that is currently a $4.3 trillion industry and represents an astounding 18.3% of our total economy.
“To advance the ‘SICKcare-to-HEALTHcare’ vision, we are building an ecosystem of diverse partners, from universities and hospital systems to public health officials, pharma and medtech companies, and community representatives,” Hoffman said. “Only through such a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach will we be able to transform a problem as pervasive as inadequate health care in America.
“I can’t thank EY enough for agreeing to be the lead orchestrator and bring together these partners and knowledge of best practices.”
Dr. Arda Ural, EY Americas industry markets leader, health sciences and wellness, said his group is eager to get started.
“Liberty Science Center’s renewed focus to lead with a preventative health care model aligns with EY Health’s purpose — and passion — to change the face of care delivery while helping health care organizations improve people’s lives with a human touch,” he said. “We’re eager to begin this collaboration to enhance patients’ health experience via digital enablement and with a team of diverse team members.”
SciTech Scity also will work closely with colleges and universities in New Jersey and neighboring states to advance real-world applications for cutting-edge science and technology. The 80,000-student and faculty academic ecosystem that SciTech Scity is bringing together includes NYU Tandon School of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Hudson County Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. SciTech Scity 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.
Hoffman said SciTech Scity’s mission is to galvanize world-changing scientific research, develop breakthrough technologies and catalyze businesses that use science and technology to address humanity’s greatest challenges, from inadequate healthcare to climate change.
About SciTech Scity
Liberty Science Center is engaged in a large expansion to build what will become the 30-acre SciTech Scity innovation campus located in Jersey City.
SciTech Scity will be a community infused with scientific creativity and actionable optimism about building a better future for all of us and using science to address society’s greatest challenges, from inadequate health care to climate change.
The first $450-million phase of this “Science City of Tomorrow” is scheduled to open in 2025 and 2026. In addition to Liberty Science Center, it includes:
- Edge Works: The business creation hub of SciTech Scity will be an eight-story facility called Edge Works, housing laboratories, research & development spaces, office suites, coworking spaces and a product showcase for startup companies and universities that want to be part of this innovation ecosystem. The initial focus of Edge Works will be health care and cleantech/climate tech. Edge Works’ first innovation partner and international tenant is the leading medical center in Israel that will not be treating patients but rather creating a “hospital of the future” simulation space to showcase what health and medicine will look like in the near-term future.
- Scholars Village: Residential housing by Alpine Residential will be available for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, STEM graduate students and individuals and families who desire to be a part of the SciTech Scity community and test new technologies before they come to market.
- Liberty Science Center High School: A new public magnet STEM high school for Jersey City and Hudson County will be built by the Hudson County Improvement Authority and operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology. The school will offer programs focused on earth (sustainable engineering and climate science), life (biological sciences) and space (astrophysics) to 400 students in grades 9 through 12.
- Public Commons: A 5-acre outdoor park will be created, complete with art installations; activations that encourage exploration, creativity, collaboration and innovation; and an events plaza for concerts, farmers markets, art exhibitions and food truck festivals.