October 13, 2022 E-news: Building Bridges to Economic Prosperity for Virginia’s Hispanic Community + Weekly Business News Digest

Important alert: PLUS and Land Use Legacy Systems Outage Oct. 21-31 

Fairfax County is converting all of its land use permitting, plan review, inspections and complaint systems to the Planning and Land Use System (PLUS) on Oct. 31. During the transition, all online application and review systems, including PLUS, FIDO, ProjectDox and PAWS will be unavailable beginning Friday, Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m. until Monday, Oct. 31.

Legacy systems (FIDO, ProjectDox and PAWS) will not return to use after the outage and will be replaced by PLUS beginning Oct. 31. The outage will impact customers conducting business with the agencies below. Each link contains information on what services will be available during the 10-day outage and how to plan ahead:

Weekly Business News Digest

Northern Virginia leasing numbers soar: Office leasing increased moderately in Northern Virginia during the third quarter of 2023, with net absorption coming in at 55,031 square feet, according to Newmark’s latest office market report — a big jump compared to last year’s 35,731 square feet for the same period, Commercial Observer reported. The leasing numbers were buoyed by the 220,000-square-foot renewal of Hilton at 7930 Jones Branch Drive in Tysons, which represented the second-largest lease since the pandemic began. Right behind Hilton was Boeing’s 118,780-square-foot lease at 12701 Fair Lakes Circle in Fairfax. Some of the notable leases in the Q3 report include Maxar Technologies’ 99,659-square-foot renewal at 2325 Dulles Corner Boulevard in Herndon and General Services Administration’s 92,264-square-foot renewal in Rosslyn in Arlington County, a fellow Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdiction. Two projects began construction during the third quarter: Fuse at Mason Square, a 360,000-square-foot development at 3351 Fairfax Drive, that will serve as R&D labs, classrooms and offices for George Mason University; and the 161,000-square-foot 1875 Reston Row Plaza, a mixed-use development in Reston. Stay tuned: Amazon’s HQ2 will bring more than 2 million square feet during the first quarter of 2023, the Newmark report says.

Merrifield we roll along: Cox Edge launched a new location in Merrifield, saying the expansion into Fairfax County extends its ability to deliver Edge compute resources to a ‘key tech region’ while also servicing the aerospace, cybersecurity, and healthcare industries in the NoVa area,” Data Center Dynamics reported. Cox Communications launched Cox Edge last year, launching in around a dozen U.S. markets. Cox Edge aims to offer Edge cloud services through a cloud-native stack and orchestration platform.

Get ready, get set… Ahead of its scheduled launch in December 2022, Rocket Lab delivered its Electron rocket Wednesday to Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, delmarvaNow reported. It will be Rocket Lab’s first lift-off from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The mission will deploy satellites for Herndon-based radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360. It will be the first of three Electron launches for HawkEye 360 in a contract that will see Rocket Lab deliver 15 satellites to low Earth orbit between late 2022 and 2024. These missions will grow HawkEye 360’s constellation of radio frequency monitoring satellites, enabling the company to better deliver precise mapping of radio frequency emissions anywhere in the world. The flight facility will continue with its packed schedule as Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman is targeting liftoff of its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft no earlier than on Nov. 6, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. It represents the next commercial resupply services mission to deliver NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station. To read why Northern Virginia is a rapidly growing space and satellite hub, click here.

Accelerating communication: Tysons-based SpaceLink was tapped by NASA to conduct a study on the integration of commercial optical ground terminals into the space agency’s Near Space Network architecture to help with the orbital communication system’s commercialization, ExecutiveBiz reported. Under the contract from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, SpaceLink will craft a tracking and data relay satellite system-like capability on medium Earth orbit to ensure safe real-time data transmission. The effort looks to accelerate communication between spacecraft in orbit and ground users. The contract will entail SpaceLink demonstrating an end-to-end multi-source data transport at its gateway in the Mojave Desert to the space agency’s terrestrial network via Amazon Web Services‘ cloud infrastructure.

Readiness against evolving global threats: Reston-based Leidos won a $1.5 billion contract to support the Department of Defense with technology to enhance its Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) missions, Virginia Business reported. “In today’s battlefield, the command who has actionable multi- and cross-domain data fastest is the one with the high ground,” Leidos Defense Group President Gerry Fasano said. “Leidos has finely tuned our portfolio of expertise and developed a dynamic enterprise suite of C5ISR solutions, including Joint All-Domain Command and Control tools, to ensure our warfighters exploit state-of-the-art technology to maintain their decisive advantage and enable joint synergy for operational superiority. We are honored to support this critical mission, providing readiness against evolving global threats.”

Logical acquisition: Reston-based ScienceLogic, an IT management company, acquired Santa Clara, Calif.-based Zebrium, a machine learning analytics firm. Zebrium’s technology helps IT operators figure out the causes of difficult application problems. “We understand that at the end of the day, customers care about a few core things. Among those are making sense of drastically increased amounts of data, maintaining a quick time to resolution, and focusing on customer experience,” said Mike Nappi, chief product officer at ScienceLogic. “Our acquisition of Zebrium has its genesis in those customer mandates.” Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Securing telework environments: Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. and Florida-based SecureXperts partnered to build platforms for telework and alternative work environments that meet federal requirements for ensuring the security of the Department of Defense’s classified documents, reported ExecutiveBiz. “Together, SAIC and SecureXperts bring unique skills and expertise that will support the growing demand for services to protect intelligence users that store, process and transmit high risk data from telework and alternative work environments,” Vernon Saunders, senior vice president for the national intelligence community business at SAIC.

Commemorating Harriet Tubman: The Central Intelligence Agency installed a statue of abolitionist and social activist Harriet Tubman at the entrance of its headquarters in Langley, according to NBC News. CIA officers who studied Tubman in a leadership class posed the idea to install the statue after learning about her time as a Union Army spy during the Civil War. Tubman is historically recognized for rescuing enslaved people through her network known as the Underground Railroad. The gesture is an effort to promote diversity among the CIA’s workforce, one of the goals the agency has been committed to over the past two years, Black Enterprise reported.

Free IT training: Amazon will begin offering free training later this month at a new facility in Crystal City, InsideNoVa reported. The Amazon Web Services Skills Center will train people specifically on cloud computing, with an emphasis on preparing them for an AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials Certification. Anyone will be able to enroll for in-person classroom instruction or virtual training — all free of charge. The dozens of classes to be offered at the Crystal City campus will focus on fields including DevOps, application development, machine learning and cloud architecting.

Fancy that! Dior will open a clothing boutique at Tysons Galleria, its first in Virginia, Tysons Galleria recently announced on Instagram. The store is currently expected to open in June 2023. Brookfield Properties, the property owner, says it views Dior as a complement to the mall’s existing roster of luxury clothing stores, including Versace, Chanel and Saint Laurent. The latter two are set for future expansions.  FFXnow has more.

Contract Wins

Inmarsat Government (Reston) won a 10-year $980 million contract to provide broadband satellite and terrestrial communications services to the U.S. Navy. SpaceNews

ManTech (Herndon) received a $337 million contract over four years from the U.S. Navy for technical assistance and testing of a virtual training system. ExecutiveBiz

ICF (Fairfax) received a $15 million contract to perform environmental consulting work for California-based water infrastructure projects managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. ExecutiveBiz

Seerist (Herndon) renewed its $3.8 million contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for five years and expanded to include artificial intelligence data and analysis. Federal Times

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

October 20 — Workforce Development Resources for Northern Virginia Companies. Did you know that there are a wide range of free workforce development resources available to Northern Virginia companies? To find out more about these resources, join the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority for a virtual event to hear from a panel of Virginia’s top workforce development and business retention experts. Click here to register.

October 20 — Titans of the Toll Road. This event will bring together two moderated panels of visionary leaders from all aspects of the healthcare conversation to share with business leaders in Northern Virginia how they are innovating, collaborating, and using technology to provide more efficient services, decrease costs and train the future healthcare workforce. Click here to register.

October 27 — Exporting 101: State and Federal Resources. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with U.S. Commercial Service – U.S. Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) presents a free webinar. Highlights of the workshop include an overview of state and federal government resources, researching the market, the exporting process, and export financing. Click here to register.

Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 — Global convening of the inaugural Quantum World Congress. This global event will bring the future into focus while establishing the Greater Washington region as a go-to destination and meeting place for quantum technology visionaries, policymakers, researchers, business and investment leaders, and students. With the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and the Commonwealth of Virginia as major sponsors, the event is organized by Connected DMV. Click here to learn more, see the list of expert speakers, and reserve your spot.

December 6 — 2022 NVTC Tech 100 Celebration. The Northern Virginia Technology Council will host their annual event at Capital One Hall in Tysons. Nominations are sought now (deadline Oct. 16) for NVTC Tech 100 Awards that celebrate the top companies and leaders in the Greater Washington tech community. The honorees will be recognized at the event. Click here to register.

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.