Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for June 15, 2021: StarKist, Relay shuttle, NextNav, Presidio, Pangiam

Charlie the Tuna swims into Fairfax County: StarKist is moving its corporate and administrative headquarters from Pittsburgh to Fairfax County, Gov. Ralph Northam announced. The seafood and chicken company, a subsidiary of Dongwon Industries Co., of Korea, plans to occupy almost 24,000 square feet of space at 1875 Explorer Street in Reston Town Center, creating 83 jobs by spring 2022. “We would like to thank Governor Northam and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) for their ongoing support throughout this process,” said Andrew Choe, president and CEO of StarKist. “I believe the move to Virginia will provide an outstanding work environment for our employees, as well as an opportunity to expand the StarKist business in the years ahead.” Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, said, “I am so pleased to thank StarKist for choosing Fairfax County for its new headquarters. This is a testament to the growing attractiveness of Northern Virginia to a wide variety of industry sectors and companies that know we have the assets and talent base to succeed here.” Virginia Business has more, and you can read the FCEDA release too.

Innovation, navigation and safety: Relay, an autonomous shuttle program launched by Fairfax County between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and the Mosaic District last October, is offering officials a better understanding of how driverless shuttles navigate live traffic and how to improve work zone safety, notes Skip Descant in Government Technology. He wrote about Relay after attending the “Creating an Autonomous Vehicle Ecosystem in Virginia” webinar presented June 10 by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in partnership with the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI). “Doing projects like this are just really, really important to really understand how the technology integrates with the infrastructure, how the technology integrates within this kind of civic framework,” Eta Nahapetian, DEI manager of smart community and innovation and strategy, said during the symposium.

What’s next for NextNav: NextNav Holdings, located in Tysons, is combining with Spartacus Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), that would take the next-generation GPS firm public and value it at about $1.2 billion, the companies said. Founded in 2007, NextNav says its platforms can locate a device’s specific indoor positioning. Vertical positioning data are a focus for regulators to improve responses to 911 emergency calls in urban areas and could have consumer applications in sectors like gaming and transportation that require a device’s specific location. NextNav owns licenses to use wireless airwaves that support nationwide telecom networks. Spartacus is focused on deals in the technology, media and telecom industries, reported the Wall Street Journal. And find out more in the Washington Business Journal.

Presid-ing in Reston: New York-based digital systems integrator Presidio launched a Reston-based federal unit called Presidio Government Solutions. The new subsidiary will deliver technology to federal government clients focused in the areas of automation, augmentation, cloud, cybersecurity, digital infrastructure and collaboration. Clients will include defense and intelligence agencies, as well as federal civilian agencies. “Establishing this new entity boosts our capacity to focus on developing solutions for our government customers,” said Clara Conti, the general manager of Presidio Government Solutions. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Face time: Tysons-based Pangiam, a provider of security and travel technology services, acquired Los Angeles-based Trueface, a computer-vision company focused on facial recognition, weapons detection and age verification technologies. This marks Pangiam’s second acquisition since being formed by AE Industrial Partners through the combination of Linkware and PRE last October. In March, Pangiam acquired veriScan, the developer of a biometric facial recognition system for airports and airlines, from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Trueface uses its technology to solve issues such as frictionless access control, contactless elevated temperature checks and social distancing. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Betting on a particular horse: Centreville-based Parsons Corp. said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Herndon-headquartered BlackHorse Solutions for $203 million. The transaction is expected to close in July. BlackHorse, founded in 2018, works in the areas of cyber, digital operations, artificial intelligence, machine learning and full-spectrum operations, and Parsons plans to integrate the company into its federal solutions business segment, adding nearly 200 employees, most of whom have high-level security clearances. BlackHorse is expected to generate revenue of approximately $100 million in 2022, reported Virginia Business.

Links for Lynx: Tysons-based Iridium Communications, along with 20 government agencies and commercial organizations, is presently participating in a massive Arctic satellite service test. The series of partnership-driven field exercises, called Operation Arctic Lynx (OAL), kicked off last week and will run through June 26. During the two week period, the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. federal agencies, Alaska state and local organizations, Canadian government organizations, scientific research organizations and multiple aerospace industry companies will test a number of Iridium and Iridium Connected services, reported Satellite News.

Beam me up, Scotty: Amazon Web Services, which has its East Coast headquarters in Herndon, picked up 10 startups for its space program, including Herndon-based Hawkeye 360, which collects radio frequency signals and analyzes them to monitor the seas, tracking illegal fishing and other security issues. This latest venture is part of Amazon’s play to become even more involved with the space industry, helping to support customers as their satellites beam huge amounts of data back from orbit, reported Axios.

Investing in health: Reston Hospital Center has begun a $70 million investment and expansion program, including construction of a stand-alone emergency care center in Tysons. Other projects will expand service capacity, modernize facilities and introduce new technologies, according to Reston Hospital Center, part of HCA Virginia Health System. “While many healthcare organizations put projects on hold or canceled initiatives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reston Hospital Center continued to march forward with strategic investments to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our community,” said John Deardorff, president and CEO of the HCA Healthcare Northern Virginia market and Reston Hospital. InsideNoVa has more.

Amazon-ian donation: Amazon made a $10,000 donation to Food for Others to mark the recent opening of the Amazon Fresh Franconia location, the first Amazon Fresh on the East Coast. Food for Others is a Fairfax-based organization providing food assistance to over 3,000 families per week. Opened on May 27, as NBC reported, Amazon’s new concept grocery store uses smart technology featured at the store includes the Amazon Dash Cart allowing shoppers to skip the checkout line or using Alexa to manage shopping lists and navigate store aisles, Kingstowne Patch reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Northrop Grumman won a $287 million base contract by the Air Force to provide engineering services to assist in sustaining the Minuteman III missile system. Defence Blog

Booz Allen Hamilton received a five-year, $189.9 million contract from the Enterprise Communications and Networks Division of Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific to provide a range of engineering, technical, cyber and programmatic services. ExecutiveBiz

Science Applications International Corp. secured a five-year, $126 million contract from the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center to support the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command‘s Ground Vehicle Systems Center by providing research and development for modeling and simulation enhancements. Virginia Business

General Dynamics‘ NASSCO subsidiary won a $121.1 million contract to help the Navy update, repair and maintain systems of USS Pinckney guided missile destroyer. GovConWire

BAE Systems secured a $90.2 million Navy contract for the maintenance and modernization of the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego. ExecutiveGov

Featured business events

June 15-16 — Wharton DC Innovation Summit. The Wharton Club of DC is presenting the “2021 Wharton DC Innovation Summit: Innovation Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World” using a virtual format. The summit will explore the impact of these key shifts including how innovators and entrepreneurs are positioning to take advantage of them, how they are getting private and public funding, and what new attributes are required for successful post-pandemic innovation leadership. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is the prime sponsor of the event. Click here to register.

June 15 @ 3 p.m. — NVTC Filling the Tech Talent Gap Committee. Sponsored by the FCEDA, The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents an introduction to LEAD4IT Program for HR and workforce leaders. Click here to register.

June 17 — Parallel Summit: The Institutional Case for Digital Assets. The Chamber of Digital Commerce presents a webinar event sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority featuring Michael Saylor, chairman, president and CEO of Tysons-based MicroStrategy, as the headline presenter. Click here to register. Once registered on the ParallelSummit.io community site, be sure to RSVP using the link on the homepage. If already registered, please use your existing credentials to log in and RSVP using the link.

June 17 — Swimming with the Sharks. The Fairfax County Public Library presents a webinar featuring Nahum Jeannot, founder of GoOats, a healthy snack food. Jeannot will discuss his experience appearing on the television show Shark Tank and share wisdom with aspiring entrepreneurs. Click here to register.

June 23 — Can Employers Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a panel discussion featuring Maureen E. Carr, an employment attorney at Bean, Kinney & Korman. The event is part of the Business Education Series sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

June 24 — State of the Airports. The Committee for Dulles presents a luncheon (virtual or in-person option). Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the keynote speaker will be Jack Potter, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Click here to register.

June 24 — Finding Success in Mentor-Protégé Teaming Agreements. The George Mason University Center for Government Contracting, part of the School of Business, presents a webinar focusing on how government and business are approaching an evolving procurement environment. The webinar will include virtual networking. Click here to register. This webinar is the third and final part of the New Directions in Federal Spending & Contracting series sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

June 29 — Korean-Based Companies That Want to Do Business in the U.S.: Save the date! Holland & Knight’s Korea Practice and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce-International Business Council present part two of a two-part series on cross-border business between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. Registration to open soon.

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 that will provide the fundamentals needed to successfully start a business. In addition, an Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Emmit McHenry, chairman and CEO of Cycurion, who will discuss his entrepreneurial journey and share valuable tips for business success. Click here 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.