Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – September 22


Two Fairfax County companies announce expansions, creation of 300+ new jobs combined

This week, two Fairfax County-based companies announced significant growth: Tysons-based Pangiam and Falls Church-based Enabled Intelligence.

Pangiam

Pangiam, an emerging technology company streamlining the travel and security industries, will invest $3.1 million to establish its global headquarters at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in Fairfax County. With this new operation, which includes the addition of 20,000 square feet, Pangiam can increase its capacity to meet growing domestic and international demand. The project will create 201 new jobs over the next three years.

“With safety always at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Fairfax County is pleased to have Pangiam’s headquarters in Fairfax County, the heart of America’s national security infrastructure,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “As Pangiam works to secure our ports of entry using next-generation technology, we welcome their expansion to Tysons and the hundreds of new jobs they are bringing.”

Click here to read more.

Enabled Intelligence

Enabled Intelligence, Inc., a provider of secure and accurate data labeling services to enable artificial intelligence applications, will invest $1.4 million to expand its headquarters in Fairfax County. The company will add over 10,000 square feet of classified and unclassified office space to its operations located at 6400 Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church to increase capacity. The project will create 117 new jobs.

“We are honored to have Enabled Intelligence expand their presence here in Fairfax County,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “The opportunities they offer to our diverse populations is extraordinary, and their efforts shine as a bright example of the true spirit of inclusion, upon which we continue to build our thriving business community.”

Click here to read more.

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Did you know that there are more than 1,500 Hispanic-owned employer firms in Fairfax County? These firms employ more than 13,000 people with over $2 billion in receipts. Fairfax County has the largest number of Hispanic-owned employer firms in the Northern Virginia region.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, FCEDA will be highlighting Hispanic business success stories in Fairfax County throughout the month. Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook for more!

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2017 Annual Business Survey)

Championing diversity in leadership

A joint initiative between the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia aims to diversify leadership in Northern Virginia’s workforce. The Northern Virginia Champions for Accountability Badge initiative is a commitment by employers throughout the region to collect, analyze and act on data related to the diversity of C-suite leaders and board members. The project was developed in collaboration with a task force composed of four cross-sector chief diversity officers. Fifty-three employers, which include 26 Fairfax County-based companies and organizations, made up the first cohort of badge recipients, or “champions.” President and CEO of the Community Foundation Eileen Ellsworth presented the research findings at an inaugural event last week, and she acknowledged that the lack of diversity among top executives is a regional and nationwide issue. “We can all become more intentional in recruiting, recognizing and promoting underrepresented talent into the top positions of the companies and institutions we run,” Ellsworth said. InsideNoVa has more.

Reimaging the space experience

Tysons-headquartered Hilton will design astronaut facilities for the private space station Yulee, Flor.-based StarLab currently under development by Denver-based Voyager Space Holdings and Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin, the companies told CNBC. In addition to designing hospitality suites and sleeping arrangements, Hilton will also work with Voyager to examine opportunities for the marketing of the space station and astronaut experiences onboard. Voyager Chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor, told CNBC he’s excited by the “unique perspective” that Hilton brings to the project because “they’re not space people.” “It’s almost like looking at it with a fresh set of eyes and saying: ‘How do we reimagine this experience,’” Taylor said, adding that he sees it as “a bit of an edge.” The partnership marks the first of its kind among the private stations in development, although both the space and hospitality sectors have long envisioned the possibilities of a hotel in orbit.

To the edge and beyond

Reston-based Razor’s Edge Management, a venture-capital firm focused on investing in national-security startups, closed a $340 million fund, the latest example of the increased interest investors and corporations have in backing young companies developing defense-related technology, the Wall Street Journal reported. The firm said it is aiming to deploy the capital into startups helping the U.S. maintain technological superiority over its adversaries. “Our third fund will continue the approach we have successfully applied since the beginning. The U.S. faces an increasingly complex and rapidly growing national security threat environment. We work diligently across our portfolio to help our customers solve the hardest problems and maintain a technological advantage over near peer adversaries,” said Peggy Styer, co-founder and managing partner.

Growing up so fast

Celebrating the grand opening and expansion of Beanstalk Farms in Herndon, Governor Glenn Youngkin and other state and local officials, including Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the vertical agriculture business on Sept. 13, Fairfax County Times reported. Aiming to promote the continued success of Virginia agriculture, one of the state’s largest industries, the event highlighted one of the most recent developments in controlled farm technology and sustainable agriculture production. The new facility expands Beanstalk Farms’ current operation and represents more than $2 million of new capital investment to a long-vacant warehouse facility, in an area Fairfax County has targeted for development. Beanstalk Farms will hire 29 new employees for various jobs in the new indoor farm and distribution facility. Fox5 has more on Beanstalk Farms.

Digital infrastructure consortium

Five companies were selected by the U.S. Air Force to be part of an industry consortium that will define future requirements and develop the digital infrastructure for the Advanced Battle Management System. Reston-based Leidos; Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman; Reston-based Science Applications International Corp.;  Melbourne, Flor.-based L3Harris Technologies, which has locations in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia; and Raytheon Technologies, which is moving its headquarters to Arlington, Va.; are the ABMS Digital Infrastructure Consortium participants. The alliance will establish the design criteria for an open architecture and address data management, secure processing and resilient communications to enable and deliver command-and-control capabilities to the Air Force and Space Force, reported GovConWire.

Developing an Orbital Robot fleet

Reston-based SAIC is partnering with Laconia, N.H.-based startup Rogue Space Systems to develop small satellites for in-space services, SpaceNews reported. Rogue Space, a two-year-old startup, designed a CubeSat known as Orbital Robot for in-orbit services such as inspection and repairs.  SAIC will integrate two Rogue CubeSats for a planned 2023 mission. Going forward, SAIC will help develop Rogue’s fleet of Orbital Robots for space situational awareness, in-space services, assembly and manufacturing. “SAIC and Rogue bring unique skills and expertise that will support the growing demand for services in Earth orbit, the cislunar domain and beyond,” said David Ray, senior vice president of SAIC’s space business unit.

Expanding Canada greenhouse gas-monitoring

Tysons-based Spire Global said it will build three CubeSats launching in 2023 to expand Canadian greenhouse gas-monitoring operator GHGSat’s constellationSpaceNews reported. The three satellites are slated to join the six similarly sized spacecraft that GHGSat currently operates in low Earth orbit. Joel Spark, co-founder and general manager of Spire’s space services business, said these CubeSats would be dedicated to GHGSat and not host other payloads. Spire is seeing growing demand for the space-as-a-service side of its business, where it manages payload integration, launch, and mission operations for the payloads it hosts. Spire mainly provides data-gathering and analysis solutions across maritime, aviation, weather, climate, and other markets under its primary business.

Monitoring global economic activity

Herndon-based BlackSky Technology received a combined total of $13.8 million of orders to date within the first year of a five-year Springfield, Va.-based National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency contract to monitor global economic activity. “These awards underscore the growing demand for commercial real-time, AI-driven monitoring services that reveal economic activity at manufacturing hubs, major maritime ports, and airports around the world,” said Dr. Patrick O’Neil, BlackSky chief innovation officer. Since winning the first order, BlackSky’s dynamic monitoring platform has collected thousands of observations over critical sites worldwide and demonstrated the ability to scale the quantity of observations to meet customer demand. Geospatial News has more.

Strategic space sustainability alliance

Montréal-based NorthStar Earth & Space, which bases its U.S. headquarters in Tysons, and Japan-based Astroscale, which has locations in Denver and Washington, D.C., are forming a strategic partnership to further support space sustainability by combining NorthStar’s precise space-based resident space object tracking with Astroscale’s enhanced spacecraft navigation and capture capability for on-orbit servicing, Under this agreement, Astroscale and NorthStar will leverage their respective services to highlight their shared commitment to space sustainability. Together, NorthStar and Astroscale will cooperate to demonstrate the benefits of combining precise In-Space Situational Awareness (ISSA) services to support reliable on-orbit servicing in low Earth orbit, Space Watch Global reported.

Accelerating digital inclusion

Tysons-based Intelsat joined the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition. The coalition is a multi-stakeholder alliance launched by the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations. Through the coalition, Intelsat will provide satellite connectivity in order to bring broadband to hard-to-reach, unserved populations who are not connected to the internet, as well as to millions who do not have the means to connect. “The Partner2Connect Digital Coalition is a great initiative to accelerate and promote digital inclusion. Contributing to this common goal is part of Intelsat’s mission – and developing innovative, space-based technology that solves complex communications issues is central to our work,” commented Dave Wajsgras, CEO of Intelsat. ExecutiveGov has more.

Significant shifts

Tysons-based Iridium CEO Matt Desch spoke to Executive Mosaic in a recent video interview about the significant shifts he’s seen in the satcom industry, what’s driving Iridium’s meteoric growth, new expansion opportunities in the company’s future and more. “Just last year, something like $16 billion was invested in the industry…there’s now over 400 venture capitals invested in the industry. It’s a very, very vibrant industry more recently,” Desch said. “The government has adapted as well. They really want to take advantage of the innovation and investment in space and Low-Earth Orbit that all of us are making, so they’re partnering more with industry than I think they ever have.”

And more on Iridium

Iridium Communications announced its Operation Pacific Waves (OPW), a series of partnership-driven field exercises involving more than 20 organizations to focus on the Indo-Pacific region, ExecutiveGov reported. OPW will deploy Iridium and Iridium Connected equipment in live scenarios highlighting the Iridium network’s resilient, real-time and truly global capabilities. OPW will highlight capabilities that directly support Indo-Pacific mission sets enabled by Iridium’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) contract with the U.S. federal government. “As home to more than half of the world’s population, almost two-thirds of the world’s economy, and some of the world’s largest militaries, the importance of the Indo-Pacific region cannot be understated,” said Scott Scheimreif, executive vice president of Government Programs with Iridium. “We’re especially proud to have new and returning partners eager to participate.”

Unmanned aerial vehicle rolled out

Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman rolled out the first MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle built for Australia‘s air force at a manufacturing location in Palmdale, California, reported ExecutiveBiz. The Australian defense department collaborates with Northrop and the U.S. Navy under the Triton Cooperative Program, and the partnership supports data sharing between MQ-4C operators in the two countries. Production of the high-altitude, long-endurance system is expected to be completed in 2023 and delivery to Australia is scheduled for 2024.

Walking again because of innovative technology

Two men who became paralyzed are walking again thanks to innovative technology at Advanced Physical Therapy in Tysons, News4’s Doreen Gentzler reported in a recent broadcast. Robotic technology and many hours of intense work helped the men to walk againThe practice is the brainchild of Valerie Gibson, a physical therapist who creates custom treatment plans based on a patient’s unique neurological needs. Therapists there use innovative tools, such as an exoskeleton suit that’s dubbed the “walking robot,” video game challenges and a reactive balancing machine. Click here to see the NBC News Washington broadcast.


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  info@fceda.org.

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





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