Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Feb. 9, 2021

Air & Space Innovation webinar series wraps Feb. 10

Join us tomorrow, February 10, for the third and final session of a three-part international webinar series that highlights the latest innovative technologies in aviation and space for commercial and defense applications – many of which are being developed or advanced in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. The Feb. 10 session will spotlight “Defense Innovation in Air and Space.” Click here to register and to see the agendas and list of speakers from AFWERX, L3Harris Technologies and more.

Upskilling talent webinar set for Feb. 16

Join us next Tuesday, February 16, for “Filling the Gap: Finding and Upskilling Talent Across Northern Virginia,” a webinar that will focus on new and innovative ways for businesses, government agencies and non-profits to attract and train qualified job applicants. This virtual event is part of the FCEDA talent initiative funded by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Click here to register and to see the agendas and list of speakers from Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, Revature and Smoothstack.

Omnispace, in several spaces: Tysons-based Omnispace raised $60 million to fund the rollout of a system that combines satellites and terrestrial wireless networks to provide connectivity using 5G standards. The company is going after “enterprise market segments” including agriculture, mining and energy, and shipping and logistics, said Ram Viswanathan, president and chief executive of Omnispace. “We’re bringing ubiquitous connectivity solutions to those markets which, today, they don’t have,” Viswanathan said, reported SpaceNews.

Accolades of admiration: FORTUNE is out with a new list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies,” and we are proud to report that eight Fairfax County-headquartered companies made the list: Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons); Capital One (Tysons); General Dynamics (Reston); Hilton (Tysons); Leidos (Reston); Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area); NVR (Reston); and SAIC (Reston). Also on the list are four companies with a strong presence in Fairfax County. Amazon, which bases east coast operations of Amazon Web Services in Herndon and is building its second headquarters in Arlington, ranked at no. 2. Microsoft, which is establishing a new software development and R&D regional hub in Reston, placed at no. 3. CACI International, based in Arlington, and Richmond-based Dominion Energy also made the list. The World’s Most Admired Companies study surveys top executives and directors from eligible companies, along with financial analysts, to identify the companies that enjoy the strongest reputations within their industries and across industries.

Creating careers: Kreative Technologies will invest $1.5 million to quadruple its current Fairfax County workforce, adding 296 jobs. The company currently employs 67 people in its Fairfax location. Kreative Technologies provides information systems design, development, integration and sustainment for the federal health care industry. “We are delighted to see Kreative Technologies expanding so significantly, because its focus on secure information systems and health IT is a perfect match for the tech talent pipeline that we are attracting and growing in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “We are proud of this vote of confidence in our business climate.” Virginia Business has more, and you can check out an FCEDA release about it too.

Expanding views: Herndon-based satellite company HawkEye 360 is participating in a pilot program with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in Springfield to provide intelligence analysts with commercial radio-frequency (RF) data. HawkEye 360 launched its first three formation-flying, RF-sensing satellites in 2018 and expanded its constellation with three upgraded satellites launched last month. More launches are expected later this year. “NGA’s analyst community has never had access to commercial RF before. It’s always been in the domain of the government, for them to collect and supply to the analyst,” said CEO John Serafini, Defense News reported. And click here to see a FCEDA “Innovation in Fairfax County” video featuring Serafini.

Innovative bidding: Herndon-based BidExecs launched a global franchise in the bid and proposal industry that will provide entrepreneurship opportunities to transitioning military/veterans, transitioning government employees, and to independent consultants who want to be part of a global platform. “Innovation in business can come from any direction, and I want to congratulate Reena Bhatia and BidExecs for their work to innovate in the bid and proposal industry,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “Being home to business people with this kind of energy is why Fairfax County and Northern Virginia continue to be a center of innovation and a great place to begin and grow a company,” according to InsideNoVa.

A bridge not too far: Tysons-based tech contractor IntelliBridge acquired Fairfax-based tech company Alethix. The acquisition will add DevSecOps and cloud services to IntelliBridge, and also expand its clientele to include homeland security, federal-civilian and defense agencies. IntelliBridge offers cybersecurity, intelligence analysis and cloud services. “Alethix’s team of trusted technology experts bolsters our position in the digital solutions marketplace, which will allow us to bring agile, repeatable and scalable solutions to our current and prospective customers,” IntelliBridge president and CEO Cass Panciocco said. Virginia Business has more.

A capital opportunity: The Inclusive Innovation Incubator is looking for representatives from local small businesses to participate in its Capital One-sponsored business boot camp. Over the six-week program, “In3” will host workshops focused on business development, marketing, sales, finances and more. The incubator will welcome 20 retail-based small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses must be headquartered in the DMV region and have been in operation for at least three years to be eligible. Technical.ly DC has more.

Supporting our veterans: Reston-headquartered Leidos won a seven-year, $2 billion (yes, with a b) contract to provide non-medical counseling to service members and their families through the Defense Department Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program. “For over 50 years, Leidos has been proud to serve the military and veteran community. We are excited to expand this legacy by supporting the MFLC program, service members and their families as they navigate the challenges and joys of military life,” said Roger Krone, chairman and CEO of Leidos, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Building a talent pipeline: Reston-based NCI Information Systems and Radford University, located in Radford, Va., signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a collaborative relationship that will further the goals and initiatives of both NCI and Radford students and faculty through joint academic, education and project-execution activities. The MOU states that Radford University and NCI agree that cooperation in research collaborations, emerging technology assessment, NCI contract support, workforce development, talent pipeline development and student and faculty exchanges would be mutually beneficial, Global Banking and Finance reported.

Puttin’ on the Ritz: The Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner received a “gold badge” in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of top hotels in the country. The U.S. News rankings only consider those in the luxury category — those that land, at a minimum, 3.5 stars and have at least 20 rooms. Gold badges are reserved for those hotels that fall in top 10 percent on the list. The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City and the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg were the other two Northern Virginia hotels to receive gold badges. Washington Business Journal brought us this ritzy news.

Sharks in Reston? Reston Station, one of the biggest mixed-use developments along the Silver Line in Northern Virginia, is upping its public arts game — and that includes a huge aquarium filled with sharks. Not real ones, though. Reston Station developer Comstock Holdings Company recently installed a LED digital screen at the center of Reston Metro Plaza. In addition to the 3D aquarium, it displays Google Doodles digital art, cityscape and landscape flyovers and commuter information, as well as advertising. It will also serve as an outdoor theater for movies and concert performances this spring and summer. WTOP has more.

It all ads up: A Super Bowl LV ad that McLean-based Mars Inc. created about M&M’S candy finished fourth in the annual Ad Meter rankings compiled by Tysons-based USA Today. The company says the ad, entitled “Come Together” and highlighting actor Dan Levy, features a variety of “wow, I really shouldn’t have done that” scenarios and the people in them choosing to make it better with a bag of M&M’S. Ad Meter panelists ranked 57 ads this year. Only two Rocket Mortgage ads and one from Amazon beat out the sweet Mars ad.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

LinQuest secured a $500 million contract from the Space Force for analysis support. Airforce Technology

iWorks won an $86 million contract from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency to vet personnel for access and insider-threat risk. InsideNoVa

Leidos secured a four-year, $68.6 million contract from the Air Force to study and develop concepts for protecting aircraft from expendable missiles and directed-energy threats. GovConWire

L3Harris Technologies won a $45.9 million contract from the Navy to maintain and repair the airborne self-protection jammer and integrated defensive electronic countermeasure systems of the F/A-18 series aircraft. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

February 9 @ 11 a.m. ET — PPP Round 2 and Business Resources. The FCEDA, in partnership with the Small Business Administration, Fairfax County Office of Economic Initiatives, the Community Business Partnership, SCORE and Start Small Think Big present a webinar featuring Antonio Doss, district director, SBA; and panel discussion featuring Mark Scarano, executive director, Community Business Partnership; Elizabeth Rogers, legal fellow at Start Small Think Big; and Kristin Sharpe, volunteer small business mentor, SCORE. Click here to register.

February 10 — Air & Space Innovation webinar series. The FCEDA concludes its three-part international webinar series focused on the latest technologies in aviation and space for commercial and defense applications. The spotlight on day 3 (Feb. 10) will be: “Defense Innovation in Air & Space.” 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.

February 10 — Communicating In Style! Maximizing Business Engagements. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents an interactive webinar session featuring David Dillon, certified business coach, executive coach & trainer. The session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.

February 16 — Filling the Gap: Finding and Upskilling Talent Across Northern Virginia. The FCEDA presents a  webinar to focus on new and innovative ways for businesses, government agencies and non-profits to attract and train qualified job applicants. Click here for more information and to register.

February 18 — Starship Technologies: R2D2 Delivers to Keep You Safe. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), of which the FCEDA is a member, presents a webinar focused on how Fairfax City restaurants and stores are using Starship Technologies robots for deliveries. This session is part of the Catalyst for Change webinar series produced by the NOVA EDA. Registration opens soon. Click here for details.

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 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.