SAIC’s Fairfax County HQ location ideal for advancing tech and innovation
Founded more than 50 years ago in San Diego, California, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) moved to Fairfax County in 2009 “to be closer to our customers and take advantage of Fairfax County’s business-friendly practices,” said Sanjay Sardar, senior vice president, Digital Innovation at SAIC, in an exclusive interview with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
With its purpose to “advance the power of technology and innovation to serve and protect our world,” Reston-headquartered SAIC employs more than 26,000 people, including 6,000 in Northern Virginia. A Fortune 500 company, SAIC has $7.4 billion in annual revenue.
“We are known for three things at SAIC — extraordinarily smart and passionate people, a commitment to government missions and bold thinking that delivers innovation in advanced technology,” Sardar said.
Click here to read the entire interview.
World-class tech market
The D.C. Metro region boasts the third highest density of tech talent in the U.S. Couple this with the world’s most active data center market; the birthplace of the internet; the headquarters of the national security apparatus; and location next to the biggest purchaser of goods and services (including technology) in the world — the U.S. Government — and you have all the hallmarks of a world-class tech market, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The tech industry proliferates in several distinct submarkets throughout the region, according to the report, including the “Dulles Toll Road Corridor” stretches from Dulles Airport through Herndon and Reston to Tysons, which hosts tech and cybersecurity firms such as AWS, Microsoft, Google, Verisign, MicroStrategy, Appian, Oracle and many others.
Employee health and wellbeing focus
Tysons-based Maximus’ new HQ brings the outdoors inside with focus on employee health and wellbeing, reported WashingtonExec’s Amanda Ziadeh in a feature article. When Maximus began planning its new headquarters in early 2020, it couldn’t have foreseen what was soon to come: As hammers began to swing, COVID ensued. Rather than falter, Maximus took a hands-on, laser-focused approach to build its space centered around collaboration, innovation and wellbeing. “There’s a focus here on employee wellness and wellbeing,” Maximus CEO and Director Bruce Caswell told WashingtonExec. And while driving innovation and productivity is the goal, Caswell said most importantly, it’s about “having a little fun while we’re at it.”
And more on Maximus
Tysons government services company Maximus won a 10-year, $6.6 billion contract to support the contact center operations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Washington Business Journal reported. The award has a one-year base period and nine option years. It is a follow-on to work Maximus is already conducting. The company, with a $3.71 billion market cap, has worked on contact center operations across all levels of government while also assisting in the administration of other government programs like federal student loans and veterans services.
Another big contract
Reston-based CACI International won a 10-year, $5.7 billion contract to lead a team for enterprise IT support services to the U.S. Air Force, Washington Technology reported. The nine other members of the team include the following Fairfax County area-based companies: Bowhead Logistics Management (Springfield); Enhanced Veterans Solutions (Fairfax); and InSequence (Herndon). The consortium of companies will take over the responsibility of IT service desk support and managing a catalog of offerings for 700,000 users around the world for Wave 1 of the Air Force’s Enterprise IT as a Service initiative. This effort aims to help Air Force and Space Force personnel have more time and energy for hunting down and mitigating issues with networks versus giving much attention to basic IT functions.
Reston-based nonprofit organization Noblis received a U.S. patent for a machine learning-based method generating models that can imitate different security checkpoint setups and show how each configuration responds to various kinds of threat, ExecutiveBiz reported. Noblis said last week that its iterative modeling system employs algorithms based on concepts from rule-based adversarial games. Noblis researchers utilized chess game rules to allow the system to determine the possible outcomes of various potential attacks through security checkpoints.
Space situational awareness services
Fairfax County-based space-tracking startup Scout Space is partnering with Hawaii-based Privateer Space, a new venture also focused on space situational awareness services for satellite operators, SpaceNews reported. The collaboration is focused on integrating Scout’s systems architecture and data collection capabilities with Privateer’s data solutions, according to a release. Eric Ingram, co-founder and CEO of Scout, said the collaboration is “in the initial stages and we’re looking into how we can best combine our capabilities. There could very well be joint products in the future, but we are at the early stages of that process.”
Roughly the size of a bottle of wine
Tysons-based Spire Global is adding propulsion to its multipurpose Lemur satellite constellation, SpaceNews reported. French startup ThrustMe will provide seven iodine cold gas propulsion systems for Spire three-unit cubesats scheduled to launch later this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission. “Incorporating propulsion into our satellites will increase the capability of our constellation and safety of operations,” said Jeroen Cappaert, Spire co-founder and CTO. Spire operates a constellation of more than 100 Lemurs cubesats equipped with sensors to gather weather data, track ships and airplanes, and provide customers with other space-based services. As electronic components shrink, Spire keeps packing additional sensors and other components into its satellites, which are roughly the size of a bottle of wine.
On a roll
Fairfax consulting and digital services firm ICF International acquired Blanton & Associates, an Austin, Texas-based environmental consultancy specializing in infrastructure projects. It is the company’s fourth acquisition to close this year. The two firms have partnered in the past on water and habitat conservation planning projects. Already this year, ICF has closed deals for Herndon digital health services company SemanticBits, Rockville, Md. health IT firm Enterprise Science and Computing, and Tysons IT services contractor Creative Systems & Consulting, reported the Washington Business Journal and GovConWire.
Expedited screening process
Reston-based Idemia North America implemented an onsite service at five airports as part of a Transportation Security Administration program that allows travelers to determine their eligibility for an expedited screening process, ExecutiveBiz reported. The company said Monday its team of TSA PreCheck enrollment personnel offers the service through mobile carts for demonstration and deployment initiatives. Passengers can register in five minutes or less and get their known traveler numbers in three to five days.
Getting a facelift: Federal Realty Investment Trust, a Bethesda, Md.-based real estate investment trust, plans to renovate the Chesterbrook shopping center in McLean, according to the Washington Business Journal. The Safeway-anchored center comprises about 90,000 square feet of low-rise retail on nine acres at 6214 and 6246 Old Dominion Drive. A portion having been built in the 1960s, they’re about the get an $8.5 million facelift.
Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton completed the sale of its Middle East- and North Africa-focused business to management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, ExecutiveBiz reported. As a result of the closed acquisition agreement, the Booz Allen MENA team will be added to Oliver Wyman’s United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia offices. Booz Allen’s MENA-located strategy consulting arm is expected to strengthen the cyber, climate and sustainability portfolio capabilities of Oliver Wyman while enabling it to better serve its financial services, energy and public sector clientele.
Pivot to residential
An affiliate of Bethesda-based Renaissance Centro plans to buy part of Tysons’ huge Arbor Row mixed-use development, the Washington Business Journal reported. The developer has the 2.9-acre parcel at 7925 Westpark Drive under contract from New York’s Campbell-Scott Westpark. Renaissance Centro previously acquired an adjacent 2-acre parcel to the west, where it’s now building the 300-foot-tall Monarch luxury condo building. If the deal goes through, the new office-turned-multifamily building would stand beside Renaissance’s 25-story Monarch at 7913 Westpark Drive, Tysons.
Pitch and Pilot
Fairfax County is calling for innovators to pitch solutions that work toward carbon neutrality and clean energy, FFXnow reported. “Pitch and Pilot,” a county-led innovation challenge, aims to find and pilot new projects that improve energy efficiency, increase renewable electricity use, and encourage the use of electric vehicles. The winning team will have the chance to pilot their proposal in the county. The pitch competition is sponsored by the county, George Mason University, and Smart City Works.
First kid entrepreneur
Alejandro Buxton, age 12, is celebrating his first brick-and-mortar shop, which opened in Tysons Corner Center on Thursday last week, WJLA reported. Alejandro started his candle business called Smell of Love Candles in his kitchen during the pandemic. Last Thursday, with his mother and state leaders by his side, they cut the ribbon to his new candle kiosk located across from Victoria’s Secret on Level 2 of the mall. Alejandro says he will work the booth after school. “This our first kid entrepreneur, kid lease, and it’s incredible to see that he is going to inspire other young entrepreneurs” said Jessie Benities, GM of Tysons.
About the Fairfax County
Economic Development Authority
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County.
Fairfax County: “One of the great economic success stories of our time” — TIME