PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development attracted a record capital investment of $513 million in calendar year 2014. The achievement marks the Department’s 2nd consecutive banner year and 4th year in its 18-year history to exceed half a billion dollars of intended investment by the private sector.
The Department closed a total of 19 projects, with a combined total of $513 million in intended capital investment and an anticipated 569 jobs. Of these jobs, 469 are new to the County and 100 were retained. The top five projects by capital investment and jobs fell within the Life Sciences and Information Technology industries.
“Prince William County continues to experience significant private capital investment in our targeted markets. As a result, we are further solidifying our position as a top destination in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area for the Life Sciences and Information Technology industries,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “It is the actions that we’ve taken in these areas that will pay dividends for our citizens and our community in the long-term.”
In addition to these projects, the County opened the doors to the new Prince William Science Accelerator, which is the only public-private commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia. A prime biotech location, the innovative facility offers life science start-up companies modern wet labs, office space, common areas and shared equipment. ISOThrive LLC, a new food and dietary supplement company and a leader in the effort to improve the health of the microbiome was the first occupant when the facility opened in June 2014. Today, the firm is on track to enter the market in 2015, following $1.4 million in private investment to support clinical studies and product manufacturing scale-up.
In March 2014, the County also officially opened the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI), the only one of its kind on the East Coast, in the George Mason University – Prince William Campus. The Institute supports early-entry IT startup businesses in the simulation, modelling and game design field and is already adding to the County’s high-value, knowledge-based job creation capacity. Presently, five start-up businesses within the IT incubator have collectively created over 35 highly-skilled jobs. In December, two of the VSGI start-up businesses – Professions Quest and Little Arms Studios announced that their respective flagship titles (Mimycx and IVIS) had entered beta test phase, which is a testament to the strength of capabilities gained from VSGI.
In 2014, Prince William County also emerged as a major player in the Data Center industry surpassing the 2 million sq. ft. threshold. The County’s secure setting along with a strong fiber network, virtually zero latency, abundant and affordable power, and competitive energy rates make the County one of the prime data center locations. The County is rated as one of the nation’s Top 25 high-tech hot spots, with an annual growth of 2.8% hi-tech jobs, by Progressive Policy Institute and Jobs EQ.
Both the Prince William Science Accelerator and the VSGI are located in Innovation Park, a well-established and leading location for life sciences and forensic research facilities. With firms like: American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), the international bio-resource center and 2nd largest bioscience employer in the metro-area; the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Laboratory; Mediatech Inc., a Corning Life Sciences company; the Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences Laboratory; as well as the cutting-edge research in proteomics, bioinformatics and biodefense at George Mason University’s Prince William campus, Life Sciences companies are able to take advantage of remarkable access to talent, multiple opportunities for collaboration and high-growth prospects.
"By concentrating in Life Sciences and Information Technology we are creating growth opportunities that can open up new markets and new types of business opportunities, influencing other technology sectors and the region, as a whole,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “While the County’s growth is owed in part to its strategic location, we also have excellent competitive advantages such as a ready supply of skilled, young professionals; affordable and available land; and competitive labor costs all of which result in a strong value proposition within the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area.”
“The County’s reputation in the region as a research and innovation hub is also growing. In September, thought leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs gathered to highlight the ‘innovation cluster’ forming in and around Innovation Park at the 2nd Annual Bisnow Summit on Prince William County: Harnessing Innovation, which drew over 200 attendees from across the region to the Hylton Performing Arts Center to hear the County’s value proposition,” added Kaczmarek.
In 2014, the County also achieved two key milestones with respect to improving its transportation network. The Interstate 95 Express lanes were completed in December and now provide both business and pleasure travelers choices, increased safety and faster, reliable travel and time savings. Also cause for celebration in 2014 was the groundbreaking for a new Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station in Potomac Shores. The station is expected to open in 2017.
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