April 21 E-Bird newsletter: Leidos global HQ; Rocket Lab to launch HawkEye 360 satellites; Cresset Capital signs Reston Station lease

Leidos global HQ command center in Reston, Va. (Photo courtesy: Leidos)

Cultivating creativity, collaboration: Leidos was preparing for the grand opening of its new global headquarters in Reston in March 2020. But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and  Leidos’ workforce went mobile and events came to a halt. Despite that disruption, the 275,000-square-foot facility designed for sustainability and employee wellness has “stood the test of time,” according to WashingtonExec in a feature article about the company. Two years later, Leidos’ headquarters embodies the spirit of the company — from its iconic purple to the overall theme of transparency and collaboration. “When designing our headquarters, it was paramount to cultivate a comfortable atmosphere where employees felt encouraged to be creative and collaborative,” said Roger Krone, Leidos chairman and CEO. “As we continue to navigate the pandemic, technology installed throughout the facility enables workplace flexibility and enhances camaraderie among our global workforce, making us stronger than ever before.”

Blast off from Virginia: Herndon-based HawkEye 360 satellites will be launched by Rocket Lab on its first Wallops Electron mission, SpaceNews reported. Rocket Lab announced April 19 it signed a contract with HawkEye 360 to deliver 15 satellites over three launches. The first of those launches, scheduled for no earlier than December, will be the first Electron launch from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex on Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch would come three years after the company formally declared the launch pad complete. “We’re excited to be joining the inaugural launch from Virginia, as a Virginia-based company launching our satellites from our home state,” said Rob Rainhart, chief operating officer of HawkEye 360. To read why Northern Virginia is a rapidly growing space and satellite hub click here.

New digs: Cresset Capital, a multi-family office and private investment firm, signed a leasing agreement with Comstock Holding Companies, citybiz reported. With 12 office locations throughout the U.S., Cresset will relocate their Washington, D.C. office to Reston Station, occupying 11,500 square feet on the ninth floor of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. Cresset will join a roster of leading technology, defense and service companies in the Reston Station neighborhood that already includes Google, Neustar, Rolls-Royce North America, ICFCACICertipathSolar WindsMegaphone and Spaces by Regus.

Innovation ecosystem: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton made an undisclosed investment in Silicon Valley military software developer Reveal Technology, the Washington Business Journal reported. It’s the latest in a line of strategic investments from Booz Allen in artificial intelligence-focused companies, following March’s backing of Delafield, Wis.-based Synthetaic and July’s investment in Menlo Park, Calif.-based Latent AI. Last year, Booz Allen also spun out its commercial AI platform as its own company while maintaining a minority stake. “Because of where we are placed in the innovation ecosystem, we are uniquely positioned to help the government find, vet, access and field these emerging technologies to deliver impact faster to important programs of record,” said Brian MacCarthy, Booz Allen vice president of tech scouting and ventures.

Tremendous journey: The European Space Agency renewed and expanded its agreement with Tysons-based GTT Communications for cloud networking services. ESA shares Earth observation data from its satellites orbiting earth with institutional partners, scientists, businesses and the public. “We are proud to continue supporting ESA’s Earth Observation mission,” said Tom Homer, president, Europe Division, GTT. “When we first began many years ago, we delivered storage to ESA for just 300TB [terabytes] of satellite data. Today, GTT delivers a secure hybrid cloud and connectivity platform that supports the scientific, commercial and public use of more than 25 times that amount of metadata, along with incredible imagery of our evolving planet. It has been a tremendous journey and partnership that we look forward to developing further.” CyberNews picked up the release.

Expanded view: Isavia ANS, Iceland’s air navigation service provider, said it has achieved new levels of operational efficiency with expanded use of data from Tysons-based Aireon, a global provider of space-based ADS-B for enhanced air traffic surveillance and aviation data analytics, Air Traffic Management reported. ADS-B is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. Isavia ANS said it went operational with Aireon data in 2020 in its southern airspace. Now, by utilizing Aireon’s ADS-B data, Isavia has surveillance for its entire airspace, which consists of 5.4 million square kilometers of controlled airspace that extends from the North Pole to Scotland and from the prime meridian in Greenwich to west of Greenland, according to Isavia ANS.

India space launch: U.K.-based OneWeb, which has its North American headquarters in Tysons, signed a contract to use India’s largest launch vehicle to deploy at least some of its remaining LEO broadband satellites this year, according to a company executive. OneWeb said in a news release it has reached an agreement with New Space India Limited, the Indian space agency commercial arm, that covers launches from Satish Dhawan Space Centre for an undisclosed number of satellites, SpaceNews reported. The launches will add to OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites, 66 per cent of the planned total fleet, to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity.

Cloud transformation: Reston-based Applied Information Sciences (AIS), a cloud services firm backed by Blue Delta Capital Partners that focuses on the Microsoft platform, acquired Ashburn-based Xgility, an IT services and cloud firm. Xgility, which has both government and commercial clients, will bring over 100 employees to AIS, which has over 1,000 employees. “By complementing our experts with the AIS track record, we have strengthened both teams and our combined abilities to guide customers on their entire Microsoft cloud journey,” said Chris Hornbecker, president and CEO of Xgility. “Our teams are a perfect fit, and this will allow us to build our position as leaders in cloud transformation.” Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Night vision collaboration: Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems’ subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, which has an office in Reston, partnered with Andover, Mass.-based Physical Sciences and Stanford University to produce a next-generation night vision system for the U.S. military, Military Embedded Systems reported. According to the announcement, the partnership was created to produce a solution for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that selected the group to participate in its Enhanced Night Vision in eyeglass form (ENVision) program. The team collaboration on DARPA’s ENVision program will run through October 2023.

Undersea contracts: Officials at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division in Newport, R.I., awarded contracts to 13 electronics companies to develop research prototype systems related to sensors, arrays, sonar, undersea warfare and autonomous vehicles, including: Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons); In-Depth Engineering (Fairfax); and Leidos (Reston); as well as two companies in fellow Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdiction Manassas: Advanced Systems/Supportability Engineering Technologies And Tools and Sedna Digital Solutions, Military+Aerospace Electronics reported.

Wave catch: Herndon-based Stride partnered with Loudoun County-based Ocean Visions, a nonprofit network of research and academic institutions, to introduce students around the globe to its Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions Decade Programme (GEOS) through the gaming platform Minecraft, WV News reported. Endorsed by the U.N. in June 2021, GEOS is establishing a global community of researchers, investors and decision-makers to design and deploy scalable ocean sustainability solutions. A foundational element of GEOS’s mission is educating, empowering and training the next generation of ocean leaders, scientists and innovators, according to Stride. “As an education leader, we have a responsibility to equip young people with the tools they’ll need to succeed in their own futures and to secure the future of our planet,” said James Rhyu, CEO at Stride.

Contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Northrop Grumman received a $99.6 million contract from the U.S. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific for a next generation relay ground station. Naval Technology

Serco secured a three-year contract extension to continue to provide high-quality simulator-based maritime warfare training services on behalf of Royal Australian Navy. Naval Technology

Fairfax County EDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

April 25 — Fairfax County welcomes delegation of German information technology companies. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Northern Virginia Technology Council will co-host a German information technology delegation in Tysons. SIBB, the Digital Business Association of Berlin-Brandenburg, is bringing a delegation of 11 German companies to visit Virginia to explore collaboration and investments in the local economy. This networking event will focus on building partnerships between the visiting delegation and members of NVTC. There will be an opportunity for one-on-one meetings to explore partnerships between the German and Virginia companies. Click here to register.

May 3 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, join our panel of small business experts for an interactive webinar on how to start your business. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. In addition, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Amy Dagliano and Kate Janich, co-founders of Rowan Tree, a Herndon co-working space primarily for women entrepreneurs. Click here to register.

May 5 — Acquisition Next: Artificial Intelligence. Co-hosted by George Mason University’s Center for Government Contracting and the Institute for Digital InnovAtion, this symposium is focused on the challenges and current practices for government acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. This event will be of interest to professionals seeking to increase their knowledge of AI-related issues in government acquisition, including members of government, business and academia. Click here to register.

May 10 — NAIOP Northern Virginia Bus Tour, Spring 2022. The tour will feature commercial real estate properties in the Northern Virginia region. Click here to register.

May 11 — 2022 NVTC Impact AI. Presented by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the 2022 NVTC Impact AI Summit will explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world in which we live and work. Learn how businesses and government agencies are successfully deploying AI to accelerate innovation, gain competitive advantages and improve operational efficiencies. Join the conversation with tech innovators, policy makers and thought leaders and discover how AI-driven strategies have impacted the National Capital Region. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.