New High-Tech Group Seeks An Identity

The architects of Northern Virginia's technology business community are tired of being overlooked in the global marketplace and have banded together to do something about it.

They call themselves the Northern Virginia Project and are pooling their resources to help redefine the world's perception of the information age, and the role suburban Washington, D.C., will play in the future of high-tech business.

he architects of Northern Virginia's technology business community are tired of being overlooked in the global marketplace and have banded together to do something about it.

Leading the group is high-tech business magnate Mario Morino, who called the leaders together on a Saturday in the first week of June to draft a mission statement for the private, non-profit organization. BTG Inc. President and CEO Ed Bersoff, vice chairman of the new organization, said its mission is rather simple:

"We want to promote the identity of the region, which will include promoting the tech businesses in the region," Bersoff said. "To me, the Northern Virginia Technology Council is more of a trade association while this project will be oriented toward promoting commerce."

To do this, Morino, Bersoff, and a team of high-tech industry leaders have been passing the hat searching for financial and moral support. At $10,000 per company, the Northern Virginia Project has earned more than $325,000 in just a matter of weeks.

"It's apparent by how quickly we raised that money that we are all on the same wavelength," he said, adding that they want $500,000 to launch the project.

With a bit of imagination, the list of high-tech heavy hitters behind Morino reads like the 1929 New York Yankee's batting roster: DynCorp President and CEO Dan Bannister; EDS Corporate Vice President and CEO George Newstrom; former BDM President and CEO Earle Williams; Virginia Center of Innovative Technology Director Robert Templin; and April Young of George Mason University's Business Roundtable, among others.

Bersoff said that those businesses got into the project "simply because if we promote the identity of the region, companies like mine, BDM and PRC will benefit."

And the global identity of Northern Virginia is a problem.

Currently, Silicon Valley, the Route 128 business corridor near Boston, and the Research Triangle in Northern Carolina are all tag lines for high-tech communities in those regions of the county. But ever since Fortune magazine coined the phrase 15 months ago, Northern Virginia has been fumbling with "the Netplex," a term that is almost universally disliked.

"Netplex is certainly not it," Bersoff said, adding that it doesn't include all the elements of the region's high-tech community. "I like Capital Gateway Region, personally."

But there's more to Northern Virginia's identity problem than a name, according to Williams. He said that the rest of the world does not understand Northern Virginia's key high-tech product. He called it "information technology."

"Currently, we put no price tag on intellectual property," he said. "Take, for example, when we export software: When they assess the value of the product, they just determine the value of the floppy disc and not the information on that disc. Imagine that."

Williams said that the information content is of critical value and must be part of the economic process. He used Computer Associates' recent $1.5 billion bid for Legent Corp. to make his point.

"What did C.A. buy when they paid $1.5 billion for Legent Corp. last month?" he said. "Sure, they'll tell you they bought access into a market, and they bought services, but what they really bought were intellectual products."

Williams and Bersoff agreed that the "third wave" or next commerce revolution is taking hold in the country.

"This is the age of knowledge engineering," Bersoff said.

"The area of the Industrial Revolution is dead," Williams said. "The time for debate is over and it's time for us to move on. We have to tell people who we are, what we are, and what Northern Virginia is about."


NEXT STORY: Beltway Biz

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.