Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for July 28, 2020

The future is almost here — relay, we mean it: Fairfax County and Dominion Energy plan to begin testing of a “connected autonomous vehicle” (CAV) nicknamed “Relay” in Merrifield soon, possibly this week. The self-driving electric shuttle will travel a nearly one-mile loop between the Mosaic District and the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro Station. It will be the first test of driverless public transportation in the D.C. region, and it’s also the first state-funded autonomous transportation project in Virginia. Passengers will be able to ride the free shuttle after testing concludes successfully. Wheel on over to check out these videos from Fairfax County and Dominion Energy, and click here for FAQs about the CAV. Tysons Reporter has more too.

How the FCEDA can help your business: Go to the end of this newsletter to find out how the FCEDA can help your business during the COVID-19 emergency.

Safe and speedy from home: Tysons-based Appian and Austin, Texas-based Everlywell, a digital health company offering consumers access to at-home lab tests, are working together to support safe and healthy returns to the workplace and to campus. The two companies signed a partnership integrating Everlywell’s at-home collection COVID-19 testing within the Appian Workforce Safety and Appian CampusPass programs. Through the partnership, people will be able to request home delivery of Everlywell’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. Test results will be available on the test-taker’s mobile device within 24-48 hours of the sample arriving at an authorized lab, reported citybizlist.

Healthy purchase: Inova Health System completed its purchase of the 117-acre former Exxon Mobil campus in Merrifield for $182.5 million. “This recent action was the completion of Exxon Mobil’s option to sell the property to Inova that was part of the original transaction 5 years ago,” said Jennifer Siciliano, Inova’s chief external affairs officer. The former Exxon Mobil downstream headquarters houses the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, sports medicine and in-patient rehab programs, a research partnership with the University of Virginia and George Mason University, and other tenants. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Warming up a cold case: The Vermont State Police partnered with Parabon Nanolabs, based in Reston, to conduct the genetic genealogy testing in an effort to solve the cold case of “Baby Boy Doe” found murdered in Northfield, Vt., in 1982. “We’ve never lost sight of this victim or of the secondary victims in this case. We want to learn the identity of this infant, help bring answers to the community, and hold the offender responsible,” said Heather Gibbs, a cold case specialist with the state police. Parabon launched a Justice Drive to raise money to help cover the costs of the roughly $5,000 procedure, according to Vermont Biz.

Car port: Herndon-headquartered Volkswagen Group of America and Tradepoint Atlantic, based in Baltimore, opened the Tradepoint Atlantic terminal at the Port of Baltimore, Volkswagen’s newest port in the United States. The port, which will serve about 300 dealers in the mid-Atlantic region, marks a $150 million investment in the Baltimore area and will create about 100 new jobs, according to citybizlist.

Toll tech: Centreville-headquartered Parsons and San Diego-based technology company Neology have partnered to explore business opportunities across the mobility, critical infrastructure and transportation sectors. Neology-made products include radio frequency identification transponders and readers, automatic license plate recognition cameras and vehicle detection and classification systems. Many lanes and electronic toll collection systems worldwide use Neology’s technology platforms. “Our partnership opens previously untapped market potential in the mobility and critical infrastructure spaces, allowing both companies to continue helping governments succeed at their mission of serving their citizens,” said Carey Smith, president and chief operating officer of Parsons. ExecutiveBiz has more.

Risky business: Oakton-based TalaTek, an integrated risk management firm, is merging with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cerberus Cyber Sentinel, a cybersecurity consulting and managed services company. Under the terms of the transaction, TalaTek is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cerberus Sentinel and will continue to focus on providing integrated risk management services to the federal government and private sector. TalaTek continues to be based in Northern Virginia, according to DCINNO.

Global constellation consortium: A consortium of Hughes Network Systems, the Germantown, Md.,-based broadband satellite company, the British government and Bharti Enterprises, based in India, will acquire London and Tysons-headquartered satellite firm OneWeb. The company sought bankruptcy law protection in March, and it said the purchase will allow it emerge from Chapter 11 and resume operations. It plans to launch a constellation of 650 low Earth orbit satellites to provide Internet service to a global market that would include rural and remote regions. “This global consortium brings the right players together to fulfill the promise of the OneWeb constellation in deploying low-latency services for communities, enterprises, governments, airplanes and ships,” said Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Reef net: Reston-based Carahsoft Technology will distribute to the public sector CyberReef’s cloud-based service offerings designed to help organizations protect mobile devices from cyber threats and manage mobile data consumption. The partnership will offer Shreveport, La.-based CyberReef’s mobile security and data usage management platforms and services to educational institutions and federal, state and local government agencies, according to ExecutiveBiz.

Charting a new course: In Tysons-based DXC Technology’s latest in its effort to sell non-core sectors that sit outside its enterprise IT businesses, the company sold its health care software provider business to Italy-based Dedalus Group for $525 million. In addition to selling its state and local health businesses, the company said in March that it was looking to offload its business process services division and mobile workspace business. “The sale of our health care provider software business to Dedalus is consistent with our strategy of focusing on the Enterprise Technology Stack and rationalizing our portfolio,” said DXC president and CEO Mike Salvino. Washington Business Journal provided the update.

Joining the count: Fairfax-based Customer Value Partners (CVP) won a $17 million contract from the U.S. Census Bureau to help with data collection and analysis for the 2020 Census. “The U.S. Census Bureau gathers critical information to help our country run more efficiently,” CVP Founder and CEO Anirudh Kulkarni said. “CVP is honored to have been chosen to support the agency’s data collection operations for the decennial census as well as other demographic and economic programs.” Citybizlist enumerated the story.

Get ready, get set: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will add more buses, trains and hours of service starting on Aug. 16, restoring most service to pre-COVID levels. Metrorail will add 15 more hours of service per week, with opening times returning to normal and the system closing two hours later each night in anticipation of potential increases in ridership after Labor Day. Mass Transit picked up the release.

Ribbon cuttings continue: Despite the coronavirus pandemic, openings are still occurring at The Boro mixed-use development in Tysons. The development announced new openings and re-openings of businesses in July. New businesses opening by the end of July include City National Bank, Tasty Kabob and Santouka Ramen. In addition, FRESHFARM Farmers Markets will operate Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Boro Place beginning on July 30. More restaurants are “coming soon.” Check out the details on McLean Patch.

Farm to table: Reston-based Comstock Companies and Founding Farmers restaurant in Reston Station, are partnering to provide breakfast and boxed lunches to the Embry Rucker Shelter over the next month. Embry Rucker is a 70-bed residential shelter that provides housing for individuals and families in Reston. “Food is not only a vital, basic need, it is also a way to show love and compassion, and our team appreciates this opportunity to collaborate, fueled by Comstock’s generosity, to support our local community as we prep, cook, and package these meals for folks in our local community,” said Dan Simons, co-founder of Founding Farmers, according to Reston Patch.

Fitness first: United Kingdom-based gym chain PureGym will open its first location in the United States in Springfield. PureGym signed a lease to take over 27,600 square feet at the Springfield Commons Shopping Center. Headquartered in Leeds, PureGym had 263 locations across the United Kingdom at the end of 2019. PureGym is eyeing more locations in the DMV region, including in Tysons,  reported the Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Alion Science and Technology secured a four-year, $182 million contract from the Navy to develop a virtual and constructive training platform. GovConWire

Science Applications International Corp. won a contract valued at about $89 million for IT support and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence services to the Army Communications Information Systems Activity, Pacific, in South Korea. citybizlist

ManTech won an $87 million contract from the Navy to provide information technology research, development and engineering for the Naval Sea Systems Command. citybizlist

Perspecta secured a five-year, $34 million contract to help the Army manage, secure and maintain a cloud-based online platform for monitoring the service branch’s ammunition-supply operations. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

July 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Diversity and Inclusion Career Event. The NOVA Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce presents an online Diversity and Inclusion Career Event for job seekers to interact with employers via one-on-one live video and text chats. Click here to register.

July 29 — Trade and Investment Opportunities, Tamil Nadu State, India and Virginia, USA. The US India SME Council presents a webinar focusing on trade and investment opportunities between Virginia and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Click here to register.

July 31 — Proactive Networking/Networking Proactivo. The Virginia Hispanic Chamber presents a webinar focused on how to strengthen and expand networking relationships. Click here to register.

August 5 —  Construction Tech: Opportunities for U.S.-Israel Collaboration in Northern Virginia. The FCEDA, BIRD Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, and Smart City Works present a round-table webinar featuring speakers from construction, development, and consulting firms; and from the Israeli Embassy. Click here to register.

August 7 —  TiE DC Women Who Inspire. TiE DC presents a global virtual event with panel discussions celebrating women leaders including Ann Ramakumaran, CEO of Ampcus, Inc., and Bobbie Kilberg, former president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Click here to register.

August 21 — Thinking about starting a business/ Estas ensando en abrir un negocio? The Virginia Hispanic Chamber presents a webinar with local experts from SCORE and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber will provide tools and information to help you open your business. Interpretación en español disponible. Click here to register.

August 27 — NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference and Expo. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents the eighth annual event online with matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, a virtual Expo Hall, and keynote speakers. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.

Get business assistance: Continuing business operations in today’s situation is challenging and the FCEDA is working to assist businesses with information and access to critical resources during this emergency. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information, resources and assistance for businesses.

The FCEDA, like other economic development organizations in the region, is working virtually, and our staff is working full-time with businesses of all kinds to offer assistance and direct them to resources. 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.

Here are more useful informational resources:

  • Fairfax County information for businesses impacted by coronavirus: click here
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia: click here
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program information and other COVID-19 related resources and guidance for small business: click here
  • CDC resources for businesses and employers: click here
  • Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance — links to COVID 19-related resources throughout the region: click here

Get text updates: Fairfax County residents are encouraged to sign up for coronavirus-related text message alerts from the Fairfax County Health Department in order to stay current with important updates. To receive these alerts, text FFXCOVID to 888-777. In addition, residents can send specific questions or concerns related to the coronavirus to ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov. This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to respond to question.

Call to action: How is your company reacting to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis? Is your company developing any technologies, implementing any noteworthy procedures or have advice for other companies on how conduct business more effectively in this situation? Please contact the FCEDA communications division at info@fceda.org with relevant information that we may possibly share with our readers. Thank you for your assistance in these unprecedented time.