August 18, 2023: Fairfax County: Where Industry Leaders Like CoreSite Come to Innovate + Weekly Business News Digest

Fairfax County: Where Industry Leaders Come to Innovate

As a leading hybrid IT solutions provider, CoreSite is “one of the crown jewels of Fairfax County,” according to Juan Font, President and CEO of CoreSite, and Senior Vice President at U.S. Tower.

“On the entire Eastern seaboard, there are only two or three data center campuses where clouds have native deployments that can be accessed directly. I would argue that direct access to cloud providers is a magnet for many enterprises that choose Fairfax County as a destination for colocation, creating an immediate competitive advantage.”

CoreSite provides colocation services enabling enterprises, network providers and digital platforms to build and deploy custom hybrid IT strategies that monetize and future-proof business. CoreSite is owned by American Tower, a Fortune 500 company based in Boston, Massachusetts. With three data centers in Reston, CoreSite’s presence in Fairfax County will total more than 1.3 million square feet of colocation data center space upon full build-out to serve local businesses.

“CoreSite is a preeminent operator of data centers in the United States,” Font said in an interview with the Fairfax County Economic Development (FCEDA). “Our focus is on enabling interconnection between networks, clouds, and enterprises, and we operate over 4.7 million square feet of data center capacity in the United States. We serve 10 markets and operate 28 data centers nationally.”

Click here to read the entire interview with Font.

What’s next for the data center industry, the future of digital infrastructure and green energy? Check out Inside Towers interview series with Font and FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins here (part 1) and here (part 2), and the recent coverage by the Governing here.

Treasury Secretary Yellen’s Visit to 22nd Century Technologies Highlights Fairfax County as an Innovation Hub

By 22nd Century Technologies

Evidence of Fairfax County being one of the nation’s premier hubs of innovation was the recent visit by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to 22nd Century Technologies’ Tysons, Virginia Innovation Lab. 22nd’s phenomenal growth over the past two decades highlights Fairfax County’s role as an excellent incubator for visionary tech companies, fostering progress at the forefront of modernization.

Secretary Janet Yellen chose 22nd Century Technologies and Fairfax County as the site to announce the IRS’ bold goal of going 100 percent paperless by 2025. The visit provided an opportunity for 22nd Century Technologies to demonstrate how innovations like Intelligent Document Processing (IDPBot) can contribute to the broader digitalization goals. Designed to efficiently process and digitize high volumes of mail, IDPBot represents a key advancement to a public agency’s goal to automate and/or digitalize their paper forms, thereby saving taxpayer’s money, increasing efficiency and decreasing the carbon footprint.

“We’re so proud to have 22nd Century Technologies, operating in Fairfax County, producing the innovation driving the employment they do,” said Alex Iams, Executive Vice President of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “In Fairfax, we’re one of the most innovative counties in the country and having them here is emblematic of who we are.”

“Fairfax County has been a great partner in our growth over the last two decades,” said Satvinder Singh, President of 22nd Century Technologies. “The business-friendly environment spurs innovation like our IDPBot tool, which has already created a pathway for the IRS to meet its goal of becoming paperless by 2025.”

Visit www.tscti.com to learn more about 22nd Century Technologies.

Weekly Business News Digest

More people working in Fairfax County than ever: Fairfax County made up about a fifth of the more than 200,000 people added to Virginia’s workforce since Jan. 2022, with 40,035 more people employed in the county, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), Fairfax Times reported. Timothy Aylor, senior economist at the Virginia Employment Commission, said these numbers, along with other metrics for economic well-being, signify that both the county and the state have fully bounced back economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate in Fairfax County has also been on an overall decrease and is currently at 2.3 percent, as compared to the state’s unemployment rate, which has also had an overall reduction to 2.7 percent. Another metric in looking at the county’s economic success is the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people who are actually employed out of the number of people who are actively looking for work. In Fairfax County, that number has risen to 72 percent, according to FCEDA CEO Victor Hoskins. Virginia’s overall rate is 66.6 percent which also represents an increase. More people are working in Fairfax County than ever, Hoskins said, with 667,000 people employed, beating even the pre-pandemic peak of 642,000 in 2019. There are also more jobs available, with 67,000 in the county.

Touchdown! U.K.-headquartered BAE Systems, which is based in the U.S. in the Falls Church area, agreed to acquire Colorado-based Ball Aerospace, which has a location in Chantilly, as well as regionally in Arlington, Va. and Columbia, Md., for approximately $5.55 billion, citybiz reported. “This marquee acquisition would advance our company’s position in some of the fastest growing segments of the defense market and further increase our alignment with enduring customer priorities in both the U.S. National Defense Strategy and U.S. Intelligence Strategy. Ball Aerospace’s world-class products, capabilities and deep customer relationships would enhance our existing portfolio in areas including space, C4ISR and missile systems,” said Tom Arseneault, President and CEO of BAE Systems. We believe BAE Systems and Ball Aerospace share a culture of mission-driven innovation and operational excellence. We look forward to sustaining the historic legacy of Ball Aerospace and investing in its future.”

Building the community of the future: The highly anticipated Lego Discovery Center has opened in Springfield, FFXnow reported. With a ribbon cut by scissors made out of Lego bricks and a burst of confetti, the 32,000-square-foot attraction opened its doors on August 9 at Springfield Town Center. Under construction since December, the discovery center features a variety of play and building areas, a Mini World with models constructed from more than 1.5 million bricks, a 4D theater, a climbing gym, an indoor train ride, and a cafe. Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said the combination of entertainment and education makes the Lego Discovery Center a valuable addition to Springfield, particularly at a town center seeking to become a destination for more than just shopping. In addition to Lego, the town center is in line to get a five-story hotel and a 460-unit residential building. “We’re now exercising the original vision for the Springfield Town Center,” Lusk said. “We’re building those amenities that are going to help create the community of the future, so we’re excited about that.”

There’s no place like home: It’s an area known for big business and shopping, but according to a new study, Tysons is becoming an increasingly popular place to live too, WTOP reported. “There is a lot of housing and there is a need for a lot more of it,” said Tysons Community Alliance CEO Katie Cristol. The group recently released a new study which found that Tysons’ population has grown by 17 percent since 2015. That means there are more than 29,000 residents now, and it is projected that roughly 15,000 more residents will call Tysons home by 2030. Those of us who’ve lived in the region for a long time may have a stereotype of Tysons as a place where you go to work at a Fortune 500 company or earnestly where you go to shop, and Tysons is still definitely that place,” Cristol added. “But it’s also increasingly a place that thousands of people call home.” She said Metro access, as well as people wanting to live close to where they work, are the two big reasons why.

Innovation on fire: Four Fairfax County companies placed in DC Inno’s 2023 class of Fire Awards honorees. Three of the companies were noted in the Software, Cyber and Data category: UltraViolet Cyber (Tysons); Datasembly (Tysons); and Eqlipse Technologies (Annapolis; Herndon). Herndon-based Scout Motors placed in the Clean Tech category. According to DC Inno, “For many reasons, these companies have caught the eyes of the local startup community and we’ve selected them based on nominations to the Washington Business Journal and DC Inno, as well as from our news coverage from the past year. We categorized them by what they do or whom their products are targeting.”

Easy riders: Four communities in Fairfax County and the nearby region ranked in the top 10 nationwide for high salaries and the best work-life balance by Yahoo News: the George Mason University area (Fairfax); Wolf Trap (Vienna); Dunn Loring (Merrifield); and McLean. According to the article, an ideal scenario for many Americans would be to work in a place that pays a high salary but doesn’t require much time, both in terms of commuting and actual work hours. To determine the list, GOBankingRates culled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, starting with places that had at least 1,000 households and a population of at least 5,000. This list was then further refined by eliminating places with incomes that were less than 120 percent of the national median. After factoring in the “total work time,” which included commuting, a final list of 10 places with high salaries and the best work-life balance was assembled.

Building the nation’s climate resilience: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collaborated with Falls Church-area based General Dynamics Information Technology to expand the computing power and storage capacity of NOAA’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System by 20 percent, reported ExecutiveGov. GDIT architected the identical supercomputers under a 10-year, $505 million contract announced in February 2020. “As we continue to experience increasingly extreme weather events, every advancement in weather forecasting is critical,” said Mariano Alicea, vice president and general manager for aerospace and atmospherics at GDIT. “This expansion enables the National Weather Service to further improve its forecasts, better respond to severe weather events, and build the nation’s climate resilience.”

Who we gonna call? Tysons and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE is collaborating with San Francisco-based Robust Intelligence, an AI solutions provider, to enhance a free tool to help organizations assess the supply chain risks of publicly available artificial intelligence (AI) models online today. The collaboration also includes work with Indiana University to develop automated risk assessment tools. “This collaboration and release of the AI Risk Database can directly enable more organizations to see for themselves how they are directly at risk and vulnerable in deploying specific types of AI-enabled systems,” said Douglas Robbins, MITRE vice president, engineering and prototyping. “As the latest open-source tool under MITRE ATLAS, this capability will continue to inform risk assessment and mitigation priorities for organizations around the globe.” ExecutiveBiz has more.

Enabling agencies and industry to work hand in hand: Tysons and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE opened a new facility dedicated to small uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). Located in Orange, Va., the site serves as a proving ground for MITRE’s technologists and U.S. government sponsors to develop, test, and evaluate the newest technological advances for commercial robotics, autonomous systems, drones, and counter-drone systems, according to citybiz. “We take great pride in being a trusted partner for agencies in helping them select and evaluate the right UAS and C-UAS tools for their unique needs,” said Yosry Barsoum, MITRE vice president and director, Center for Securing the Homeland. “This new testing range will enable agencies and industry to work hand in hand to build safer communities.”

Big cash back: Tysons-based Intelsat said Aug. 14 it is due for a $3.7 billion windfall late this year after becoming the latest satellite operator to clear C-band spectrum ahead of schedule for terrestrial 5G telcos in the United States, SpaceNews reported. Weeks after launching its seventh and final C-band clearing satellite, the company said it had achieved certification for work to move broadcast customers into a narrower swath of the spectrum.

Vetted vet venture: McLean-based Mars entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of SYNLAB Vet, a European provider of specialist veterinary laboratory diagnostics, from SYNLAB Group. This acquisition will enable the Science & Diagnostics division of Mars Petcare to expand its veterinary laboratory business in Europe in addition to its full-service global veterinary diagnostic offerings across veterinary labs, point-of-care, imaging, and software, according to citybiz.

Contract Wins

Peraton (Reston) will support the maintenance and operation of communications systems for NASA’s Deep Space Network Program under a $513.5 million subcontract from agency-sponsored Jet Propulsion Laboratory. GovConWire

Leidos (Reston) will help the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implement new information technology processes as part of a $197 million contract. Virginia Business

Parsons (Centreville) obtained a five-year, $109 million contract to continue assisting the U.S. Cyber Command in its development of command, control, communications, computers and capabilities. GovConWire

Aeyon (Tysons) won a task order to provide strategic workforce integration support services to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Financial Management and Comptroller. GovConWire

Scout Space (Alexandria area Fairfax County) in partnership with the Stanford University Space Rendezvous Laboratory won a $1.5 million contract to help the U.S. Space Force to characterize spacecraft and debris objects. SpaceNews

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

September 6 — Harnessing the Power of Economics to Solve Whole of Nation Challenges. With keynote speaker Dr. Emily Blanchard, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of State, MITRE Corporation is hosting a one-day conference at its co-headquarters locations in McLean, Virginia and Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as via Teams Meeting. This conference will join MITRE economists with speakers and panelists from government, academia, and industry to examine the role of economics in collaboratively solving whole-of-nation challenges. The conference will include presentations from distinguished speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, posterboard displays, vendor booths, and audience interactive activities. MITRE seeks to serve as a catalyst to foster collaborative cross-sector research, drive innovation, and inform decision-makers. Click here to register to attend this free conference.

September 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority hosts Entrepreneurship 101, or “E-101,” a bi-monthly workshop that features a panel of small business experts on how to start a business. Presented by the FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the workshop provides an overview of business start-up fundamentals.  Click here to register.

September 19 — Hire Vets Now Networking and Hiring Fair. This in-person event at Fort Belvoir Community Center is a networking reception and career fair offering transitioning service members, military spouses and veterans the opportunity to connect with Virginia employers looking to hire military talent. Participating employers are offering career opportunities in IT, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, defense, government, law enforcement and more. Resource Providers will be on hand to assist with resume writing, and  SkillBridge internships and mentorships. A complimentary lunch will be provided. Click here to register.

September 21 — Northern Virginia Space & Satellite Summit. Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council at their Space & Satellite event at Womble Bond Dickinson in Tysons. Speakers will include: David Bettinger, CEO, Axta Space Team; Dennis Gatens, CEO and Founder, LEOCloud; George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies; and Stephen McCall, Director of Government Relations, Firefly Aerospace. The main objectives of this seminar are to provide insights about the current ecosystem of space and satellite assets and industry in the Dulles region; and to delve into the aspects of the commercialization of the space sector and discuss challenges and opportunities. Click here to register.

September 21 — GovFuture Forum. Attend GovFuture Forum, a monthly demo and panel event where government innovators, technologists, thought leaders, movers-and-shakers, government ecosystem partners, and interested people see showcases on cool new technology in a demo format, learn from innovators in high-value panels, and interact with each other. Click here to see the agenda, featured speakers and to register.

September 26-28, 2023 – Quantum World Congress 2023. Quantum World Congress 2023 will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. QWC 2023 will be held at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia. REGISTER NOW.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA 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.