Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for July 6, 2021: ANRA/Hyundai air mobility partnership; Alion to be acquired; Leidos $1m vaccine lottery

Flying in formation: Tysons-based ANRA Technologies is partnering with Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Air Mobility Division to begin developing the operating environment for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. ANRA Technologies is an  international provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned system operators and airspace managers. “We take a long-term view in everything we do as a company and are looking forward to integrating our advanced technologies with the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group’s AAM ecosystem and sharing our knowledge and experience to ensure the success of our partnership and help move our industry safely forward,” said ANRA Technologies founder and CEO Amit Ganjoo. Hyundai said this is the first in a series of air traffic-management partnerships it plans to establish in the development of an AAM industry consortium. Inside Unmanned Systems sent up this story.

In the same boat: Newport News-based Fortune 500 military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) will acquire Tysons-based defense contractor Alion Science and Technology from Veritas Capital in a $1.65 billion all-cash deal. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, with Alion becoming part of HII’s Technical Solutions division. Founded in 2002, Alion specializes in providing ISR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance), military training and simulation, cybersecurity, data analytics and other technology solutions to defense and intelligence community customers. HII is the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company, employing more than 42,000 people worldwide. Virginia Business has more details this morning.

Gentle push for a jab: Reston-based Leidos is giving its employees a chance to win a year’s pay for the price of a coronavirus vaccine. The government contractor, with a global workforce of 40,000, has set aside $1 million to reward 10 randomly selected workers through its vaccine lottery. The company aims to ramp up its inoculation rates, the Washington Post reported. “We see a huge need to gently push people who are on the fence, and give them one more reason to do it,” Roger Krone, chairman and chief executive of Leidos, told the Post. Leidos said it has lost eight employees to the pandemic. A company foundation created in the name of one employee, Keith Redding, has distributed $1.8 million to families of other coronavirus victims.

Ivy seedling: George Mason University is the top U.S. institution in the 2021 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings. Mason placed no. 41 out of 475 universities around the world that are 50 years old or younger. “That George Mason University has emerged at such a young age as one of America’s fastest growing and most diverse public research universities is a testament to the caliber of our students and our world-class faculty,” said Mason President Gregory Washington. Mason has advanced in the Young University Rankings throughout the years. In 2012, Mason was ranked no. 57, and in 2019 the university came in at no. 47. George Mason University News has more.

Operation renovation: Reston Hospital Center, a part of HCA Virginia Health System, announced plans to invest nearly $20 million to expand and enhance its surgery department. The investment will include the construction of four new, larger operating rooms and the modernization of existing suites to provide added capacity to Reston’s surgical offering. In total, the surgical facility will undergo a major renovation of more than 22,000 square feet, WDMV reported.

Tysons Watermark: Capital One Center, the large mixed-use development that is part of the company’s Tysons headquarters campus, will open its on-site hotel, The Watermark, in September. Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group will operate the 300-key hotel and, while owned by Capital One, the hotel will operate as an independent property with no big hotel brand name on it. Capital One will use the hotel both for its employees traveling to Tysons for meetings as well as open to the public for room bookings, according to WTOP.

Cybersecurity is in order: Tysons-based Merlin Cyber launched its Executive Order Resource Center. The company said it developed the center to help federal agencies better understand and meet the requirements of “Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” issued by the White House in May following the cyberattack impacting the Colonial Pipeline. Potomac Tech Wire picked up Merlin Cyber’s release.

Capturing a capture company: Norwegian proposal and software specialist Xait acquired Privia, a Herndon-based worldwide provider of capture and proposal management-specific solutions to the government contractor market. Xait offers a complete all-in-one co-authoring software solution for teams to collaboratively create, manage and produce documents. Launched in 2005, Privia supports more than 10,000 users from clients such as ManTech International, based in Herndon, and Idemia, which maintains its U.S. headquarters in Reston. Potomac Tech Wire carried Xait’s release.

Environmental acquisition: Springfield-based Versar, a global project management company for the U.S. government and commercial industries, acquired the environmental services business unit of Overland Park, Kansas-based Black & Veatch that is focused on federal government customers. Black & Veatch provides a range of services such as remediation, investigation, assessment, and design for the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal government agencies. Citybiz picked up the release.

Bus transfer: Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman delivered the spacecraft bus of a future navigation satellite built by L3Harris Technologies for the U.S. Space Force. The bus is designed to provide communications, critical subsystems and payload-mounting structures for the Navigation Technology Satellite-3, which is planned to boost resiliency in support of the military, civil and commercial users of the Space Force GPS. The future navigation satellite is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to geosynchronous orbit in 2023. ExecutiveBiz blasted off the news.

Audiovisual acquisition: Chantilly-based technology firm Corbett Technology Solutions (CTSI) acquired Morrisville, N.C.-based Collaborative Technology Solutions (CTS), a provider of audiovisual, security, structured cabling and sound-masking services. CTSI is a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners. The transaction is CTSI’s third acquisition since it was acquired by Wind Point in June 2020. CTSI said it would continue focusing on acquiring companies providing communications, life-safety and security solutions, according to Virginia Business.

Emmy winner: PenFed Credit Union, based in Tysons, earned seven Emmy Awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honoring the best in the television industry. The award-winning five-part series, “The Shot,” was produced by PenFed Digital, and follows three patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and their experience before and after receiving a promising treatment. The series is shared across PenFed social media platforms. To date, the PenFed Digital team has collectively earned more than 40 Emmy Awards for work producing broadcast and digital content, InsideNoVa reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Science Applications International Corp. won a $90 million contract from the Air Force to help protect Department of Defense Combatant Commands from small unmanned aircraft systems. Virginia Business

Featured business events

July 13 — 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, the Community Business Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration, presents a virtual workshop to provide the fundamentals needed to successfully start a business. In addition, an Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Emmit McHenry, founder, chairman and CEO of Tysons-based Cycurion, who will discuss his entrepreneurial journey and share valuable tips for business success. Click here to register.

July 15 — Agile Innovation: How ‘Building Momentum’ Unleashes Creativity. The 10-member Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents a webinar featuring Brad Halsey, CEO and co-founder, Building Momentum; Capt. Ben Van Buskirk, USN, director, NavalX; and Jerry Sanford, vice president, business development, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP). This session is part of the NOVA EDA’s 10-part Catalyst for Change Series that explores how business leaders use moments of disruption to change the course of their companies to accelerate growth, expand services, meet new needs and re-design the way toward a brighter future. Click here to register.

Sept. 14-15 — LEADS (Leadership, Excellence, and Adaptability of business built on pillars of Diversity and Sustainability). The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is partnering with FICCI, a prominent trade association based in India, for the second edition of a global thought-leadership initiative with an overarching theme of “Future of Partnerships.” This hybrid program brings together business leadership from 12 countries to describe their vision of the future of fundamental aspects of global economic prosperity built on pillars of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), engaging audiences from east, central and South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa, West Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific. Click here to register. An early bird discount ends July 15.

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.