Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Dec. 29, 2020

Catalyst for change: Tysons-based Senseware has developed an air monitoring platform that it believes will enable schools, businesses, and other facilities to open their doors with an added layer of security against the novel coronavirus. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority will host a webinar focused on the technology with FCEDA president and CEO Victor Hoskins and Senseware CEO and co-founder Serene Almomen on Jan. 7.  Presented in conjunction with the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, the webinar is the latest segment in a 10-part series called “Catalyst for Change: How Companies Turn Disruption into Success.” Learn more in Tysons Reporter. To register for the webinar, please click here.

Ready for an innovator challenge? Fairfax County will host Virginia’s first-ever Smart City Challenge next month. Scheduled to kick off on Jan. 23, the challenge is a month-long virtual competition during which teams of participants will develop and pitch potential solutions to challenges in health, transportation, housing, education, energy, infrastructure, public safety and other facets of society. Fairfax County partnered with several public, private and nonprofit groups to organize the contest, including Smart City Works, the Tysons-based nonprofit Refraction, Virginia Tech, Girls in Tech DC, and the Universities at Shady Grove. Find out more in Tysons Reporter.

Space race: Within months of India deciding to open up the space sector, proposals from satellite companies are being formally reviewed by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (INSPACe), the newly formed space regulator.  Amazon Web Services, which has its East Coast headquarters in Herndon, and UK-based OneWeb, which has its North American headquarters in Tysons, are among the firms that have shown interest. AWS seeks to enable private space business by setting up ground stations and offering satellite-based services; and OneWeb’s request is to establish a small satellite constellation and provide services. The Times of India has more.

Maritime defense deal: Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems’s subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, which has an office in Reston, agreed to acquire maritime defense supplier Sparton from an affiliate of  Cerberus Capital Management for $380 million. Based in De Leon Springs, Fla., Sparton provides proprietary products for defense and commercial customers. “The acquisition of Sparton will strengthen Elbit Systems of America’s capabilities and will enable expansion of activities in the naval arena,” said Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, GovConWire reported.

Catching another wave: Tysons-based federal technology contractor NuWave Solutions acquired Allentown, Penn.-based software company ProModel Government Services. Earlier in December, NuWave announced its purchase of BigBear, a cloud-based big data analytics firm in San Diego. Founded more than 25 years ago, ProModel Government Services provides custom model-based, defense-readiness-focused software for the Department of Defense and other federal government agencies, reported Virginia Business.

Safer sail: Reston-based SailPlan is building an intelligent navigation platform for ships that will make navigation dramatically safer and ship operations more efficient by identifying collision risks far beyond the navigator’s line of sight so that ships can safely navigate around them. Founded in 2020, SailPlan is a maritime technology company committed to improving maritime navigational safety, according to InsideNoVa.

Taking a new slope: Reston-based information technology company Intelligent Waves acquired Crownsville, Md.-based cybersecurity firm Ski Systems. Intelligent Waves is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business that provides systems engineering, cloud computing and managed services, cyber and security architecture, mobility and operations and intelligence analytics. Ski Systems has worked with the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community on network security, according to Virginia Business.

For whom the tolls sell: Northern Virginia toll road operator Transurban plans to sell half its stake in lanes. Transurban operates more than 50 miles of express lanes on interstates 95 and 395, as well as the Capital Beltway. The Australian company said it is bringing in three investment partners as part of a strategy to boost its finances and better position itself to pursue new projects. “This new partnership really put us in an even stronger position to be able to support the economic recovery and play a role in helping to meet transportation needs in the region,” said Jennifer Aument, president of Transurban’s North America operations. The Washington Post drove in the news.

Addressing housing disparity: Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), and SCG Development closed on financing for the Ovation at Arrowbrook – a transit-oriented, mixed-use development which will add 274 affordable apartments in the Herndon/Reston area of the Dranesville District. The project has included a significant financial investment from the county in the form of local Housing Blueprint funding, project-based vouchers and revenue bonds. The investment is another step towards addressing housing disparity the Northern Virginia housing market, according to Fairfax County Housing News.

Park Place: Fairfax County may be swapping out some of its extra parking space at the Fairfax County Government Center for affordable housing. The move would open up about three and a half acres for development along Government Center Parkway for committed workforce affordable housing. The public hearing on the proposed measure will be held on Jan. 26.  Greater Greater Washington has more.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

L3Harris Technologies won a five-year, $496 million contract from the Navy to deliver prototype tactical jamming pods. ExecutiveGov

Northrop Grumman obtained a $250 million contract by the Navy to deliver up to 103 “Coyote” supersonic sea-skimming target vehicles. ExecutiveBiz

Leidos booked a pair of 18-month co tracts worth $104.5 million combined to help the Department of Defense deploy the MHS Genesis electronic health record system to military bases across the U.S. GovConWire

Alion Science and Technology secured a five-year, $39 million contract to deliver Rapid Technical Collection and Demonstration for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Fleet Innovation Team (FIT). GovConWire

Featured business events

January 7 — Catalyst for Change: Detecting Covid-19, protecting people at work: Senseware sounds the alarm. The FCEDA, in conjunction with the NOVA EDA, presents a webinar focused on how a COVID-19 particle detection technology may help companies to be able to bring their employees back to work on-site safely. Click here to register.

January 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), conducts a free webinar for those persons that are interested in starting a business in Fairfax County.  This session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight will feature Nahum Jeannot, founder and owner of GoOats.  Click here to register.

January 13 — Insight Region Briefing: Unequal Burden, low-income Northern Virginians face the country’s most severe housing cost burden. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia presents a webinar that will examine economic opportunity throughout Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

January 23 – February 18 — Smart City Challenge. Smart City Works, Refraction, Fairfax County, Girls in Tech DC, The Universities at Shady Grove, and Virginia Tech will host the first annual Smart City Challenge. The Smart City Challenge is an innovation competition, in which teams create high-impact solutions to address the toughest smart city challenges in sectors including housing, transportation, health, broadband, energy, education, water, infrastructure, and public safety. Click here to register.

January 27, February 3, February 10 — Air & Space Innovation webinar series. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a three-part international webinar series focused on the latest technologies in aviation and space for commercial and defense applications. On day 1 of the series (Jan. 27), the focus will be: “Air Innovation: Flying Cars, Drones & Unmanned Air Systems;” on day 2 (Feb. 3): “Space Innovation, Novel Communications and Expeditions;” and on day 3 (Feb. 10): “Defense Innovation in Air & Space.” Click here to register.

January 28 — Cyber+Cloud Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents this virtual hiring event with 20+ companies for professionals in the IT, cyber and cloud industries. It is open to all experience levels. Job-seekers with security clearances are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information and to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date 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.

Virginia sets up new statewide measures to contain COVID-19

The following measures took effect on December 14 in Virginia to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Find out more by clicking here.