Fairfax County E-Bird for March 10, 2020

Perseverance praised: NASA’s next Mars rover has a new name thanks to a Fairfax County Public Schools student. Alexander Mather, a 13-year-old student at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, submitted the winning name: “Perseverance” in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest, which was selected from among the more than 28,000 entries submitted to NASA, Geekwire reported. See Mather interviewed in a NASA video.

Satellite spotlight: A model of Herndon-based HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder satellite will be featured in Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum future gallery and will be added to the museum’s permanent collection. The company received the honor one year after HawkEye 360’s cluster of three Pathfinder satellites were formally commissioned into service and successfully geolocated over 11 million radio frequency signals, ExecutiveGov reported.

Tysons celebration: Tysons Partnership celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, a 40-year strategic outline shaping the future of Tysons into a true urban center in the Northern Virginia region, at a March 4th event. “I don’t think anyone had ever seen anything quite as ambitious as what we proposed 10 years ago,” said Dranesville district supervisor John Foust. “Now, I think we’re going to make it.” WTOP covered the event.

Tall order: Tysons Development finalized purchases for three properties around the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons in early February, Fairfax County records show. With zoning approvals in hand the owners are one step closer to construction of the View at Tysons, slated to be the region’s tallest tower, the Washington Business Journal reported.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane: Four companies with offices in the Dulles area: AiRXOS (Chantilly), ANRA Technologies (Chantilly), Metron Aviation (Herndon) and Boeing (Chantilly) are among the group of 17 companies participating in NASA’s Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge. If it’s fully implemented, the new Urban Air Mobility system could enable air transit for things like package delivery, taxi services, expanded air medical services and cargo delivery to underserved or rural communities, according to TechCrunch.

Capital crossroad: Fairfax County officials and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 5 at the corner of Scotts Crossing Road and Capital One Drive in Tysons. The new half-mile roadway, called Scotts Crossing Road, runs between Jones Branch Drive and Route 123 over the Beltway and includes two lanes of traffic, a bicycle lane and an illuminated sidewalk for pedestrians in each direction, Tysons Reporter reported.

It’s show time: ShowPlace ICON Theatre in Tysons is now officially open. The state-of-the-art facility features wall-to-wall screens, Dolby Atmos sound and all-laser projection. Centrally located in the heart of Tysons, the theatre is a short walk from the nearby Greensboro Metro Station, according to Tysons Reporter.

Lights on: Tysons-based Fraym, a geospatial data company that uses machine learning to produce local-level consumer data for emerging markets, launched a comprehensive initiative with the Shell Foundation, a UK charity, to increase electrification across Sub-Saharan Africa, citybizlist reported.

Optimal space missions: Centerville-headquartered Parsons partnered with Adaptive Launch Solutions for launch and space systems engineering opportunities with the U.S. government and commercial customers. Aarish Gokaldas, executive vice president of the Parsons Space and Geospatial Solutions market, noted that Parsons “will integrate scalable, end-to-end launch operations to optimize the space mission,” ExecutiveGov reported.

Insightful acquisition: Tysons-based Applied Insight, designer of solutions to help its federal government customers solve tech-oriented problems, acquired Reston-based Digital Age Experts for an undisclosed amount, according to Technical.ly DC.

Cyber sleuthing: Tysons-based RunSafe Security, developer of a process to immunize software from cyber attacks, raised an additional $3.5 million in its first round of funding from Lockheed Martin Ventures and NextGen Venture Partners. The round, which included an initial close of $6.3 million in late December, now stands at $9.8 million. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Synching Singapore: Reston-based SyncDog is partnering with Singapore’s SecureAge, which develops enterprise encryption solutions and AI-driven anti-malware tech. Launched in 2013, SyncDog is a software vendor for mobile security and data loss prevention. With this new partnership, SyncDog will integrate two of its AI-driven cybersecurity flagship products into its tech platform to enhance data protection, Technical.ly DC reported.

New owners: Boston Properties sold New Dominion Technology Park, a nearly 500,000-square-foot property occupied by the GSA in Herndon for $256 million to USAA Real Estate, the real estate arm of the United Services Automobile Association. The property, developed by Boston Properties in the early 2000s, is comprised of two four-story buildings: New Dominion 1 located at 389 Grove Street and New Dominion II located at 499 Grove Street. Commercial Observer carried the story.

Herndon HQ: UK-headquartered Axios Systems, an IT  Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM) provider, established its North America headquarters in Herndon at 2411 Dulles Corner Park. The move follows in the wake of a substantial period of growth and continued expansion for Axios Systems, according to citybizlist.

Park place: Fairfax County Park Authority summer camps have once again been named in Northern Virginia Magazine’s Best Summer Camps list. With more than 2,000 options, the Park Authority is the largest provider of summer camps in Northern Virginia, and its day camps were nominated by the magazine’s readers as among the area’s best summer programs for children in 2020, according to Fairfax County Government News.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

George Mason University won a five-year, $320.7 million contract from the Air Force to develop and demonstrate software and hardware under the Mobile Unmanned/Manned Distributed Lethality Airborne Network program. GovConWire

Northrop Grumman scored a $262.3 million defense contract from the Air Force to manufacture and deliver radar equipment. citybizlist

DynCorp International won a five-year, $95 million contract from the Army to provide logistics support for the Afghanistan air force’s fleet of MD-530F light scout attack helicopters.  GovConWire

Serco obtained a $60.7 million contract which provides for command, communications, computers and intelligence systems in support of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command anti-terrorism/force protection ashore program at various Navy installations worldwide. Homeland Security Today

Featured business events

March 11 — Succession Planning – How Small Business Owners Make Big Exits. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a  Business Education Series workshop on positioning for selling a small business featuring Randy Jones, a wealth management advisor at First Financial Group. Click here.

March 25 — Innovate 2020: Tech Talent Pipeline. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a conference on developing the workforce needed for Northern Virginia’s growing technology sectors. Click here.

March 25 — How to Market that Makes Selling (Almost) Unnecessary. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a Business Education Series workshop on marketing for small or home-based businesses featuring James Lawson and Angela Inzerillo, co-founders of Impact Business Solutions. Click here.

March 31 — The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. NAIOP Northern Virginia presents a forum for the introduction of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA). The purpose of this new organization is to market the region as a whole and to attract investment to the area. Click here.

April 7 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA presents monthly workshops with our partners: the Fairfax County Government, Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Click here.

June 16 — Impact AI: National Impact, Local Innovation. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a conference on developments in artificial intelligence and the strength of the regional AI ecosystem. Click here.