Building Our Unmanned Systems Ecosystem

Loudoun County is built on relational experiences, connecting people and companies with critical data, perspective travelers with world class flights, and connoisseurs with vineyard excursions. Now we are again on the forefront of a game-changing technology: unmanned systems. According to current trend analysis reports, the unmanned systems (small drones) market is projected to grow globally from $9.71 billion in 2017 to $40.31 billion by 2025.

Capitalization on this evolution is critical to strategic growth and diversification here in Loudoun County. The infrastructure created by the development of data centers, major aircraft manufacturer partnerships and higher education programs has made our business community the ideal ecosystem for target development in the unmanned systems space.

While attending AUVSI’s Xponential 2021 in August, the vision and advancement of businesses in the unmanned systems space was more evident than ever. The companies on display included major players, such as Skydio, FLIR and Raytheon, but also there was significant local business representation by uAvionix Corporation, Inertial Labs, and Xelevate Solutions. The presentations, concepts, ideas and interactions assured the UAV community that the next chapter of autonomous innovation will be safe and seamless as it is integrated into daily business and personal lives.

As a foundational movement to unmanned systems integrations, Loudoun Economic Development has strategically partnered with Xelevate Solutions to host their Grand Opening and Tech Expo on October 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event will be an expression of the innovation and growth of the American drone market, as well as showcase the commitment of Loudoun County to this game-changing technology. In addition to over 30 demonstrations from companies including Verus Technologies, WhiteFox Defense and Version-Skyward, this event will be an example of what can be achieved when businesses and localities partner on a joint, strategic vision.

The relationship between Loudoun Economic Development and Xelevate has been built on the principle of shared growth through mutual understanding and forward-thinking. Xelevate came to our team almost two years ago with a business plan that presented an opportunity that could not be ignored. The creation of an unmanned systems center of excellence with a proximity to Washington, D.C., unmatched by any competitor was breathtaking and energizing.  Since then, our staff has worked hand in hand with Xelevate to develop outreach opportunities, build engagement strategies and create an attraction model that ensures shared success.

As a key partner in Loudoun’s UAV market growth, Xelevate has proven to be an ideal partner and critical asset.  This has been expressed most recently through the accomplishment of Northern Virginia’s first drone-enabled food delivery here in Loudoun County, driven by Xelevate.

As DED and Xelevate continue to grow and synergize the strategic development of unmanned systems in Loudoun County, the focus shall always be on the horizon that borders innovation and opportunity.

Thinking of starting or relocating your business in Loudoun County? We are a full-service economic development organization, dedicated to your #LoudounPossible business success. Working with us is like adding a team of no-cost specialists to your team, with expertise in the following areas:

    • Site selection and real estate searches;
    • Workforce development and pipeline support;
    • Process and permit navigation;
    • Fast-track and financial incentives;
    • Marketing and communications outreach;
    • Networking, resource and industry introductions.

Contact Brandon Ferris today to launch your #LoudounPossible journey.

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