Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for June 16, 2020

Black lives matter: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors issued a joint statement at its June 9 meeting affirming that “Black lives matter” and committing to “striving for true equity.” Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay also announced the formation of the Chairman’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity. The group will bring together diverse community stakeholders to advance racial equity. Learn more in Fairfax County Government News.

  • 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.
  • Please take our “Returning to the Workplace” survey: Did your business apply for a federal or local grant or loan program because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you planning to return employees to work in stages? What safety protocols are planned as you transition some or all of your employees back into the office? Please fill out our “Returning to the Workplace” survey. It takes less than five minutes to complete. The survey will close June 23.

Business News and Updates

Legally speaking: Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, announced today that King & Spalding, a law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers working in 21 offices around the globe, has chosen Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest commercial district, for its 22nd office. The office is located at 1650 Tysons Boulevard. It will include a 25-lawyer corporate/M&A team. Charles Katz will serve as the office’s managing partner. “Fairfax County and Tysons have long been prestigious locations for some of the most prominent law firms in the region and nation,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “I welcome King & Spalding to the county and thank them for this vote of confidence in the thriving business climate we have worked tirelessly to grow.” Click here to see the FCEDA release.

InNOVAtion lives here: Fairfax-based George Mason University selected three development and property management firms as finalists to build and operate its proposed $250 million Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA), set to open in September 2025 on its Arlington campus. The university released a RFP in February, to which 105 developers responded. The finalists are Columbia, Md.-based Corporate Office Properties Trust; Bethesda, Md.-based Mason Innovation Partners; and Baltimore-based Wexford Science & Technology. Mason plans to announce the winner in late November. The IDIA campus will include labs, coworking and public programming spaces, Virginia Business reported. The innovation campus will be a regional asset that is part of the state’s tech-talent pipeline initiative to grow computing programs and increase the number of graduates with skills being sought by Amazon.com and other tech employers.

Life hacks (literally): The Defense Department selected Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman as one of five winning prototype ventilator developers out of 172 proposals that were submitted by companies and organizations through a rapid-prototyping initiative that sought to prevent a shortage of breathing devices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The DoD employed the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Vulcan digital platform for the Hack-a-Vent Challenge to crowd-source portable ventilation designs that would cost under $500 to build and operate, Executive Biz reported.

Sharing this business: Herndon-based Spaceflight Industries is selling its “satellite rideshare” business to Japan-based Mitsui & Co. The business being sold, which is based in Seattle, matches entities needing to send payloads into space with other groups that already have scheduled launches. Spaceflight Industries said it will continue to focus on its Herndon-based BlackSky Global business that provides space-monitoring services used by intelligence agencies and businesses. Potomac Tech Wire picked up a release.

First up, FirstNet: Reston-headquartered FirstNet deployed and operates the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Many public safety agencies have joined or expand their use of FirstNet for COVID-19 response, according to Stacy Schwartz, vice president of federal public safety and FirstNet for AT&T Global Public Sector. Washington Exec’s Amanda Ziadeh interviewed Schwartz about FirstNet’s purpose during the pandemic and beyond. See the video interview and Q&A by clicking here.

Park place: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a rezoning that will open parts of the Valo Park office complex in Tysons up to the public. London-based Tamares, Valo Park’s owner, wants to add retailers and restaurants, renovate an existing rooftop terrace and open the complex’s current amenities, including a conference center, auditorium and fitness center to the public. Tamares is considering attracting a rooftop craft brewery atop a parking garage. Currently the office park, located at 7950 Jones Branch Drive, is home to newspaper giant Gannett and cloud-computing company Appian. Tysons Reporter covered the story.

Name dropping: Two Metro stations could be getting new names: The Tysons Corner station would become “Tysons” and the West Falls Church-VT/UVA would become “West Falls Church-VT” under a proposal approved last week by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “Corner” would drop from Tysons following county rebranding efforts that began in 2011. “UVA” would be dropped from the West Falls Church station because the University of Virginia plans to move out of the campus located near the stop. Virginia Tech campus is staying, however, so the station would be named West Falls Church-VT. The county’s recommendation now will be taken up by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board. Falls Church Patch is trained to find items like this one.

And welcome ‘West Falls’: A proposed 1.2 million-square-foot development next to the West Falls Church station has a new name: West Falls. Hoffman & Associates and EYA announced that they had named the upcoming gateway development at the Falls Church-Fairfax County line. The development will include offices, a hotel, apartments, condominiums, retail space and senior housing spanning roughly 9.5 acres, and the city’s George Mason High School would be moved, according to Tysons Reporter.

Blurred lines: Reston-based defense and government contractor SOS International (SOSi) is consolidating its defense information technology and intelligence solutions business units into a new Defense and Intelligence Solutions Group. “The lines between analytic services and technologies are continuously blurring as more defense and intelligence customers adopt and deploy cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence solutions enterprise-wide,” SOSi President and CEO Julian Setian said, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Catching a wave: Novetta, a Tysons-based analytics technology company, acquired Annapolis Junction-based WaveStrike, a software and analytics firm focused on national security agencies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. With 1,200 employees, Novetta focuses on the defense and national security sectors. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Nothing “micro” about $10 billion: Reston-headquartered General Dynamics; Falls Church-headquartered Northrop Grumman; and Lockheed Martin, which is one of the largest employers in Fairfax County, are among several big contractors that are part of a $10.27 billion contract modification to upgrade Defense Department microelectronics systems. The modification, which elevates the funding ceiling of the existing contract from $7.2 billion to $17.4 billion, calls on eight contractors to help replace electronic hardware and software by injecting it with advanced technology and applications for quick reaction capability, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Stryke one: Reston-headquartered General Dynamics won a seven-year, $2.48 billion Army contract to produce an upgraded version of its Stryker armored infantry carrier vehicle. The reconfigured Stryker has tested more resistant to mine and improvised-explosive-device detonations and includes multiple engineering and electronic upgrades, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Artificial intelligence, naturally: Herndon-based Geospark Analytics won a contract from the Department of Homeland Security for its Hyperion program, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platform for risk and threat detection. Hyperion’s AI engine continuously analyzes publicly available information, identifies abnormalities in activity levels and assesses stability and future risk for regions worldwide, according to Washington Exec.

Show me telemedicine: Reston-based SOC Telemed (SOC) launched emergency and inpatient teleNeurology services at Phelps Health, a health system in Rolla, Mo., that serves six counties. SOC’s Telemed IQ platform provides access to emergency neurology care around the clock, and on-demand in the emergency department, Inside Nova reported.

Connecting jobs: The Commonwealth of Virginia launched a new platform to connect people to educational and work opportunities. Virginia Career Works Referral Portal connects people to training, certification, education and employment services to aid in job search and career development. Users can also access programs such as interview and resume workshops. Find out more in Virginia Business.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Northrop Grumman won a $896.1 million contract from the Customs and Border Protection to provide logistical and maintenance support services for its fleet of P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft. GovConWire

Booz Allen Hamilton received a five-year, $800 million contract by the GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center and the Defense Department to provide artificial intelligence (AI) services to support the Joint AI Center (JAIC). Executive Biz

Science Applications International Corp. won a 10-year, $378 million contract to provide enterprise information technology and end-user services to the Federal Aviation Administration. Executive Biz

Perspecta received a $112 million contract to provide data storage and management support services for the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Center 2. GovConWire

General Dynamics won a $104.2 million contract to develop, produce and install systems for the Navy’s Columbia-class and the U.K.’s Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarines. GovConWire

Alion Science and Technology scored a $75 million contract to support research, development, test, and evaluation of all Navy Minotaur software platforms for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). GovConWire 

RiverTech, an Akima subsidiary, secured a five-year, $70.2 million contract for non-flying support to mobility air forces at 14 Air Force bases within the contiguous U.S. Executive Biz

Featured business events

June 15-18 — Impact AI: National Impact, Local Innovation. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a virtual summit on developments in artificial intelligence and the strength of the regional AI ecosystem. Click here to register.

June 18: Marketing & Business Development Through COVID-19. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the next session of its three-part, 12 session “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars” series. Registration opens soon. Click here for more information.

June 24: Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. NAIOP Northern Virginia presents two panel discussions to learn how regional economic development leaders, including FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins, plan to position the region for the future. Members of the newly formed Alliance will discuss the plan and components of marketing Northern Virginia, their work on economic recovery and workforce attraction, retention and retraining issues. Click here to register.

June 25: Back to Business…But How?: The Dulles Area Transportation Association presents a panel discussion featuring: Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, FCEDA; Ben Safran, Associate Partner – DC Office, McKinsey & Company; Christopher Paolino, Deputy Vice President for Strategy, Business Transformation & Performance, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Bryan Hill, County Executive, Fairfax County; and Ali Lauzon, Operations Associate, McKinsey & Company as moderator. Click here to register.

July 14: 2020 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.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 2 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the second phase of re-opening businesses on Friday, June 12. 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 times.