Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – December 8

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

Fairfax County’s Rise as Choice Location for Corporate Headquarters Continues

With the world at their feet, global giants such as Volkswagen of America and Airbus Americas opt for corporate headquarters in Fairfax County. These companies leverage and capitalize on the remarkable resources and unparalleled access to strategic partnerships we provide.

LeidosFreddie Mac and Capital One are among the nine Fortune 500 corporate headquarters located in Fairfax County, and in recent years, many more leading global companies have relocated their headquarters to Northern Virginia, Business Facilities reported. The article cites additional companies that have expanded to Northern Virginia in the wake of Amazon’s 2018 announcement to build its second headquarters in Arlington. And Hilton announced this year that it will retain its headquarters in Tysons.

“Northern Virginia has been Hilton’s home for more than a decade, and the region has played an instrumental role in helping us create the best, most inclusive home for our Team Members while also managing the demands of a global business,” said Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s president and CEO. “We appreciate the continued support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County, and the Tysons Partnership in ensuring we continue to attract strong, diverse talent to our vibrant, growing region.”

Having your company headquarters in Fairfax County means strategic positioning, as Washington, D.C., and the largest customer in the world – the U.S. Federal Government – are at our doorstep. Additionally, accessibility to attractive incentives and financial services await you in Northern Virginia’s pro-business environment, let alone a robust talent pipeline and access to a regional workforce of 6 million.

For more information on what Fairfax County has to offer as the choice location for corporate headquarters, CLICK HERE >

Company Spotlight

Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman unveiled the U.S. military’s bomber of the future on Friday, December 2, the Washington Post reported. The B-21 Raider, with a distinctive batwing shape, was pulled forward out of a hangar in Palmdale, California while awash in blue light as cinematic music played and Northrop Grumman employees cheered.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking in front of the hangar, said that the plane is proof of the Defense Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that “will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future.” The stealthy plane, he said, has “50 years of advances in low-observable technology” built in, making it difficult for “even the most sophisticated air-defense systems” to detect a B-21 in the sky.

Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman, said Friday that the company iterated on thousands of versions of the plane before selecting a design. Some of its testing and development occurs digitally before the company builds hardware, limiting costs. “In many ways,” Warden said, “we are taking technology from the future and bringing it to the here and now in this aircraft.”

To read more about this project, CLICK HERE >

Determining next steps forward

Fairfax County officials are considering how to support development in Springfield area in Fairfax County as a study finds the need for more housing and amenities, according to FFXnow. The report: Springfield-Franconia Market Studywas commissioned by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. The study recommends that the county establish an “anchor institution” to promote and advocate for Springfield. “We’re going to have to have an informal group of probably county staff members [and] myself really go through this recommendation and the other recommendations and try to come to some agreement on how to proceed,” said Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk.

Historic mission

Rocket Lab USA is scheduled to launch America’s first Electron rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, supported by NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, no earlier than December 13, according from the latest update, as of the posting of this newsletter. Originally scheduled for December 9, the launch date was postponed due to forecasted wind and weather conditions. The mission, named “Virginia is for Launch Lovers,” will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for Herndon-based HawkEye 360. “We are honored to support the launch of this historic mission,” said Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director of Virginia SpaceRocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck called the mission “a pivotal milestone for Virginia’s long legacy in spaceflight.” Chesapeake Bay Magazine has more.

Blast off! 

A team of students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Fairfax County Public School, which is ranked as the number one public school in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, engineered a satellite from scratch that was launched into space on Saturday, Nov. 26, Connection Newspapers reported. “The satellite will be handed over to astronauts onboard the International Space Station who plan to deploy the satellite in January 2023,” according to FCPS. The launch is the culmination of seven years of work by TJ Space, the student group. Led by Robotics lab director Kristen Kucko, many students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology have had a hand in this historic launch. Fox5 has more.

A very big deal

The Department of Defense has awarded positions to Seattle, Wash.-based Amazon Web Services, which has its east coast headquarters in Herndon; Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, which has a Reston location; Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, which is building a $64 million software development and R&D regional hub in Reston, and has offices in Tysons and Arlington; and Austin, Texas-based Oracle, which has field offices in Reston and Arlington, on the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract worth $9 billion over five and a half years, GovConWire reported. DOD said Wednesday. JWCC is a multiple-award contract that will enable the department to directly procure enterprise-wide cloud service offerings from commercial service providers across all classification levels and security domains. Throughout the contract period, mission owners can acquire elastic computing, storage, and network infrastructure; tactical edge devices; fortified security; advanced data analytics; and centralized management and distributed control; among other capabilities. New York Times has more in an article for subscribers.

Joining forces

Armonk, NY-based IBM announced that it will acquire Octo, a Reston.-based IT modernization and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the U.S. federal government, including defense, health, and civilian agencies. IBM’s acquisition of Octo establishes one of the largest digital transformation partners to the federal government. Upon the close of the acquisition, Octo’s approximately 1,500 employees will join IBM Consulting’s U.S. public and federal market organization. “Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernize the federal government’s approach to today’s most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defense and intelligence,” said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. “Today, we are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale.” citybiz has more.

Name that At-tune

Senseware, a Tysons-based provider of property technology, has rebranded as Attune. Attune produces IoT (Internet of Things) products across various PropTech disciplines, including energy efficiency, HVAC asset condition monitoring (ACM), indoor air quality, and remote facility management. “Just as we have outgrown our basement workspace, so too has Senseware outgrown its name,” said CEO Serene Almomen in Mechanical Business. “More than our ability to rapidly integrate sensors via our modular IoT hardware platform, we have become known for our ability to connect customers to the critical data they need, all on one platform. It is therefore with great pride that I’d like to announce Senseware has now rebranded as Attune, a platform that’s attuned to all our customers’ needs and configured to their specifications.”

Cloud computing capabilities

Microsoft signed an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide cloud computing capabilities in support of NOAA’s environmental research and development efforts, ExecutiveBiz reported. The company will integrate cloud computing capabilities into a range of collaborative R&D efforts aimed at advancing the agency’s climate, weather and ocean prediction initiatives, NOAA said. “Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence and high-performance computing capabilities can help NOAA accelerate critical research and foster innovative approaches to mitigate the risk of climate change,” said Rick Wagner, president of Microsoft’s federal arm.

Software developer acquisition

Tysons-based LMI acquired Synaptech, a Colorado-based digital engineering, modeling and simulation software developer focused on national security and space, ExecutiveBiz reported. The acquisition will merge Synaptech’s software development expertise with LMI’s experience in logistics, deep analytics, and technology. “LMI is thrilled to be entering the fast-paced, growing space market by acquiring Synaptech, which protects our nation’s national security assets and provides senior leaders with physics-backed decisional options,” said Doug Wagoner, LMI’s president and CEO.

AI acquisition

Reston web and social media monitoring company Babel Street reached a deal to buy an AI-powered text analytics platform from Cambridge, Mass.-based software company BasisTech, according to the Washington Business Journal. Babel Street said in absorbing the Rosette platform, it can offer an enhanced data analytics and intelligence software platform specializing in threat analysis, risk mitigation, and identity markets.

Largest construction project yet

Reston-based Bechtel said it has been selected to build Intel’s two new semiconductor manufacturing facilities in New Albany, Ohio. Intel said the $20 billion construction project – spanning nearly 1,000 acres just outside of Columbus — will be its largest to date, helping it boost production to meet the surging demand for advanced semiconductors. Bechtel said it will design and build 2.5 million square feet of facility, including 600,000 square feet of cleanrooms. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Expanding reach

Investcorp, a New York-based investment firm, acquired a majority stake in Tysons-based business advisory firm CrossCountry Consulting. CrossCountry has more than 700 employees, and is focused on the private equity, financial services, life sciences, real estate, and hospitality sectors. “As we continue to expand our reach, our partnership with Investcorp puts us in the best position to solve new, complex challenges for our clients, while growing our exceptional team,” said Erik Linn, managing partner and co-founder of CrossCountry. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Climate advocacy kudos

Sophia Kianni of McLean was named to Forbes’ annual “30 Under 30 – Social Impact (2023)” list. Kianni founded Climate Cardinals, a nonprofit working to make climate education more accessible to people who don’t speak English, three years ago– when she was 17. Since its inception, the organization has grown to 9,000 volunteers in 41 countries who have collectively translated 500,000 words of climate information into 100 languages.

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.

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the  FCEDA website or e-mail

Fairfax County: “One of the great economic success stories of our time” — TIME