June 1, 2023: Media Spotlight: Fairfax County – Top Location for Foreign Direct Investment + Weekly Business News Digest

Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, spoke to company representatives interested in possible expansion to Fairfax County during a May 2023 trip to South Korea.

Fairfax County: Premier Location for Foreign Direct Investment 

Located adjacent to Washington, D.C., Fairfax County’s proximity to the U.S. Federal Government, the largest customers in the world, has made it a premium location for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to Business Facilities, which published an article featuring FDI hot spots across the nation, including Fairfax County, which it refers to as a “Premier FDI Location.”

“Fairfax County is an ideal setting for foreign direct investment. We are located at the heart of Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C., and are the economic engine of our regional economy valued at $228 billion, making us the 46th largest economy in the world. Currently, more than 440 foreign-owned companies, representing 43 countries, have locations in Fairfax County,” said Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to Business Facilities. “Our close proximity to Washington, DC, provides access to the U.S. federal government, and international financial institutions, legal experts, and embassies. In addition, Fairfax County is conveniently located nearby to three major airports which provide direct links to global markets, and we have convenient access to Virginia Port Authority and to the Port of Baltimore.”

According to the article, Fairfax County is home to a highly skilled workforce, due to the more than 60 colleges and universities located in the area. In fact, this is a county that has 62 percent of residents holding a bachelor’s degree and nearly 27 percent hold PhDs. So, it’s a great place for innovation and research and development, with more than 8,800 technology businesses making up this high-tech hub. Fairfax County’s high-tech strength is one of the reasons the South Korean-based global golf simulator company, Golfzon, chose Fairfax County for its North American headquarters.

“We came to Fairfax County for a number of reasons,” said John O’Malley, Chief Revenue Officer, Golfzon America. “Fairfax County has had a long history of supporting tech companies. It’s been a hub for tech companies for as long as I can remember, and rightfully so. There’s access to resources like the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to help entrepreneurs and companies start and grow their businesses. There’s access to capital and to commercial real estate. There’s a rich talent pool to bring in employees and there’s a good demographic for the products we sell. Click here to read more about why Golfzon America chose Fairfax County for its headquarters location. 

Weekly Business News Digest

Six key focus areas: Falls Church area-based General Dynamics Information Technology is doubling its IT spending on a handful of key emerging technologies as part of what its top executive described as a new future, faster roadmap to growth — and, the company hopes, the talent to deliver it, reported Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers. Changing nation-state threats, cyberterrorism and the war in Ukraine have changed the landscape of IT and defense contracting, requiring more immediacy, according to Amy Gilliland, president of GDIT. “What they were thinking of doing, say, in 2024 and 2025 now became what they need in 2022,” Gilliland said. “So there was an acceleration and a realization that there had been some underinvestment in technology.” For GDIT, that’s translating into boosts in its internal investments in six areas: automation for IT operations, multi-cloud management, zero trust data security services, custom software development, 5G, and artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to the article.

One quintillion calculations per second: Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia, which has an office in Herndon, said on Monday it is building Israel’s most powerful artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer to meet soaring customer demand for AI applications, Reuters reported. Nvidia said the cloud-based system would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and be partly operational by the end of 2023. Nvidia bought Israeli networking company Mellanox, which has a Herndon location for $6.9 billion in 2019. Gilad Shainer, a senior vice president at Nvidia, said Nvidia worked with 800 startups in Israel and tens of thousands of software engineers. The system, called Israel-1, is expected to deliver performance of up to eight exaflops of AI computing to make it one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. One exaflop has the ability to perform 1 quintillion calculations per second. Shainer said AI was the “most important technology in our lifetime” and that to develop AI and generative AI applications large graphics processing units (GPUs) were needed. In more Nvidia news, the company briefly joined an elite club of U.S. companies sporting a $1 trillion market value on Tuesday, May 30, as investors piled into the chipmaker that has quickly become one of the biggest winners of the AI boom, Reuters reported.

Tysons decision was obvious: Venable LLP is on the move in Tysons, but not far, inking a lease for 24,000 square feet on the fourth floor of 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza — its existing Tysons office is at 1810 Towers Crescent Drive, Washington Business Journal reported. “The growth in the area has been dramatic, with the development of significant office and retail, as well as a more recent shift toward residential,” Ked Whitmore, partner-in-charge of the Tysons office, said in a statement about Tysons. “So, when we started seeking new office space, the decision to stay in Tysons was obvious.”

Welcome to Tysons! Little Diversified Architectural Consulting acquired a Sterling, Va.-area architecture firm as it looks to bolster its portfolio of public-sector and university projects, Charlotte Business Journal reported. Little, which is Charlotte’s largest architecture firm, purchased Hughes Group Architects last week for an undisclosed price. The merger creates an operation with about 40 employees that for now is going by the name of Hughes Group Architects at Little but will eventually take on the Little brand. The two firms will also soon vacate their respective spaces in Sterling and Arlington, Virginia, and take up recently leased space at 1753 Pinnacle Drive in Tysons.

Sky view: Herndon-based BlackSky Technology was selected by Houston-based energy intelligence company SynMax to monitor more than 100 United States coal powerplants, reported SpaceDaily. The partnership will create the energy intelligence assessment and support national energy transition initiatives away from fossil fuels toward alternate, more sustainable energy resources. “BlackSky’s real-time, dynamic monitoring capabilities are reshaping how the global coal industry assesses critical economic indicators at scale,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO. “With continued momentum in the commercial market, innovative industry intelligence partners like SynMax are among the first in the energy ecosystem to give their clients a valuable competitive advantage using timely, accurate space-based sensor data.”

New vehicle for digital transformation delivery: Tysons-based Alpha Omega announced a new SBA Mentor-Protégé program partnership with Alexandria, Va.-based OneZero Solutions, according to Yahoo News. This strategic alliance between the two solution providers in the Federal sector will be codified via OneOmega, a SDVOSB and 8a-certified entity. OneOmega will support federal customers in pursuit of meaningful new Cybersecurity, DevSecOps, Digital Transformation, and AI opportunities. The JV solidifies the organizations’ combined service-minded approach and commitment to employing veterans and a diverse workforce, according to the release. “The OneOmega JV offers our federal customers a new vehicle for delivery of digital transformation solutions and cybersecurity,” said Alpha Omega CEO Gautam Ijoor. “Creating opportunities for agile solutions, continuous improvement and innovative offerings are all ways we are listening to our customers, responding, and driving mission success.”

Drone tech connection: Israel based XTEND, which bases its U.S. headquarters in Tysons, which is a developer of a human-guided autonomous operating system, acquired Performance Rotors, a Singapore-based developer of drone technology used for inspections. XTEND said the move will bolster its ability to offer human-guided, remote interactive operations in a range of inspection scenarios and grow its global business, according to Photonics.

Expanding capabilities: Deltek, a Herndon-based software and solutions provider agreed to acquire workforce management service provider Replicon, reported Herndon Patch. Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, Replicon delivers software for unified project time tracking, project billing, time and attendance, compliance, professional services automation, to more than 2,500 customers. Deltek President and CEO Mike Corkery said his company is always looking for ways to expand its capabilities and add value to its customers.

High-flier distinction: Fairfax-based George Mason University earned the American Talent Initiative (ATI) High-Flier distinction as one of 28 colleges or universities that provide “transformative leadership in college access and success for lower-income students, serving as a model for colleges and universities across the country,” according to an announcement by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Among the criteria were Mason serving students who receive Pell Grants and innovative recruitment, enrollment and retention practices that ATI will highlight to other four-year colleges and universities. “We share the urgency of ATI’s mission to prioritize access and outcomes,” Mason President Gregory Washington said. “We must provide opportunities for students of all backgrounds and then work with them so they graduate poised for success. It’s not just about getting them in, it’s about getting them out.” The 28 high-flier universities include institutions of varying sizes, including Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern. George Mason University News has more.

Contract Wins

Maximus (Reston) will provide health and disability assessment services to a U.K. government department responsible for work and pensions policy under a contract worth potentially $1 billion over five years. GovConWire

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

June 22, 2023 – 2023 Wharton DC Innovation Summit. Reflecting the turbulence of recent years from the pandemic, plus ongoing global economic disruption and geopolitical tensions, this year’s theme provides historical context and a helpful look ahead to those who want to control their destiny, while benefiting more people: Advancing to a Healthier, Wealthier World for All. Anyone who registers through FCEDA receives the Strategic Partnership rate which is $150 off the public price and the same price as Wharton DC Club members. They should register by selecting the Strategic Partnership rate and typing “FCEDA” in the Special Instructions box as they checkout by clicking here.

September 26-28, 2023 – Call for Experts: Connecting the Global Quantum Ecosystem. Quantum World Congress 2023 will occur September 26-28 in the Greater Washington region. It will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. If your expertise and experience position you as a thought leader, then you are invited to complete the speaker application. Please also review the sponsorship packages to explore ways to showcase your brand at the event. Click here for more information.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and 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.