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Liberty Science Center breaks ground for ‘hospital of the future’ simulation space with Israeli partner

This is an artist’s rendering of the future SciTech Scity at Liberty Science Center. (Liberty Science Center)
This is an artist’s rendering of the future SciTech Scity at Liberty Science Center. (Liberty Science Center)

A high-tech hospital simulation space showcasing the future of digital health and home healthcare is coming to Jersey City from Israel.

The state-of-the-art simulation space will take up one floor of the planned eight-story business incubation hub at SciTech Scity (pronounced “city”) at Liberty Science Center.

This campus, which eventually will encompass a high school for the sciences, public commons, and Scholars Village, is designed as a “curated community of tech entrepreneurs, scientists, students, and other forward-thinking people and organizations working together to create a better future for all.”

Speaking at the October 22 groundbreaking, Governor Phil Murphy called the 30-acre SciTech Scity “a business optimizer — a new breed of innovation center” that could “change the face of Jersey City and New Jersey through education, discovery, and commercialization.”

Liberty Science Center’s president and chief executive officer, Paul Hoffman, signed a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, chief medical officer and chief innovation officer at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, naming Sheba as the first innovation partner and first international tenant in the project.

Cutting-edge healthcare technologies developed at Sheba’s ARC — its Accelerate Redesign Collaborate innovation center— will be featured in a futuristic display called Liberty ARC HealthSpace2030.

“Advances in digital health and home healthcare promise to help people everywhere, but these advances will particularly help underserved populations who don’t have easy access to specialized care,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Liberty ARC HealthSpace2030 complements Liberty Science Center and SciTech Scity’s mission to innovate and promote science and technology for all.”

Sheba Medical Center’s chief innovation officer and chief medical officer Eyal Zimlich­man speaks at the Liberty Science Center. (Liberty Science Center)

Sheba, the largest hospital system in the Middle East, set up a medical simulation center last year at its campus in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.

The center illustrates how a variety of integrated technologies — artificial intelligence, remote sensing, monitoring and communication, augmented reality, and robotics — can push forward advances in digital health and home healthcare that aim to maximize patient care and comfort while minimizing risk to staff.

Liberty ARC HealthSpace2030 will focus on solutions promoting healthy living, coping with chronic diseases such as diabetes at home, and promoting health equity.

Dr. Zimlichman said that Sheba Medical Center is “always looking to push our boundaries. We are looking to change healthcare around the world.”

He emphasized that feedback on all the technologies now being piloted at Sheba and in the new SciTech Scity space will be shared with partner hospitals throughout North America and Europe. He foresees a synergy between Liberty ARC HealthSpace2030 and Sheba ARC’s planned innovation center in Chicago, which will host many startups coming out of Israel. These ARC Chicago technologies will be showcased in New Jersey as well.

“We wanted to bring all the technologies into one space to see how they work in the healthcare environment and with the entirety of the medical team,” he said. “This space will allow companies to come in and help us design the future.”

Mr. Hoffman said that SciTech Scity and Liberty Science Center will assist Sheba in testing and introducing digital health and home health products in underserved communities in Jersey City and beyond. The commercialization of these products is anticipated to create additional jobs in Jersey City.

From left, Dr. Eyal Zimlichman of Sheba Medical Center, Paul Hoffman of Liberty Science Center, Jersey City’s Mayor Steven Fulop, and New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy are at the MoU signing. (Liberty Science Center)

Jersey City’s Mayor Steven Fulop said these technologies are expected to “both maximize commercial success and social impact. The most important thing for me in this was the education component. When you look forward 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, this is a moment that will change Jersey City forever.”

Dr. Yitshak Kreiss, CEO of Sheba Medical Center, said the project will “enable Sheba Medical Center to spur the digital healthcare revolution within the realm of ARC HealthSpace 2030, providing an engine of economic growth, as well as creating a myriad of cutting-edge healthcare options for the citizens of New Jersey and the metropolitan region. This is also an important development for the State of Israel, collaborating with our partners in New Jersey on groundbreaking medical innovation for the benefit of all.”

The $30 million first phase of SciTech Scity is scheduled to open in late 2023 or early 2024. This phase will include:

• Edge Works, a business incubation hub consisting of the Co-Creation Center, a 40,000-square-foot conference center and tech exhibition gallery; The Works, 60,000 square feet for research and development labs, workspaces, and coworking areas for dozens of startups plus product showcases, consumer testing labs, and offices for select established companies.

• Liberty Science Center High School, a public magnet STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — academy to be operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology. It will provide programs in sustainable engineering and climate science, life sciences, and astrophysics to 400 students in ninth to 12th grade from across Hudson County. Students will have the opportunity for mentorships and work experiences with the companies and scientists at Edge Works and at Liberty Science Center.

• Scholars Village, residential housing being developed by Alpine Residential for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, STEM graduate students, and individuals and families who want to be a part of the SciTech Scity community and test prototype high-tech products in their homes.

• Public Commons, four acres of outdoor space geared to encourage exploration, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. An events plaza comparable in size to the skating rink and outdoor area at Rockefeller Center will be designated for performances, concerts, maker fairs, farmers markets, participatory science the experiments, hackathons, art projects, and food-truck festivals.

Later phases of SciTech Scity may include expanded incubation spaces, wet labs, additional schools, a satellite campus of a major university, or other facilities to drive STEM innovation and job creation.

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