Governor Allen Announces High-Tech Deal For Fairfax County
-- Xybernaut Delivers -
Stuttgart, Germany - Governor George Allen announced an multi-million dollar high-tech agreement today with Xybernaut Corporation, headquartered in Fairfax County, and Germany's Software-Zentrum Boeblingen/Singdelfingen (SBS Software Center). The deal enables Xybernaut to license its mobile "wearable computer" technology to SBS for the development and use of the hands-free unit in Europe. As part of the agreement Xybernaut has exclusive world-wide rights to all mobile computer applications developed by the SBS Software Center.
"Increasingly, business leaders around the world are looking to Virginia - the 'Silicon Dominion' - for the advanced skills and cutting-edge technology necessary to remain competitive in the information age. This announcement shows the ingenuity and creativity of Virginia businesses in marketing products to the private sector that were originally designed for military purposes," said Governor Allen. "Xybernaut's expansion into the international markets of Europe is another strong indication of the vitality of Virginia's economy and of the enormous confidence business leaders around the world place in Virginia's high-tech industries."
Established in Virginia in 1990, one of the Xybernaut Corporation's principal products is the Mobile Assistant II wearable computer. The unit is a hands-free voice-activated computer that is worn on the body and can be accompanied by a high resolution display worn on the users head to provide quick access to information. Any necessary information such as technical manuals, blueprints and video procedures can be stored in a belt-worn Pentium-class processor to provide the user with immediate "on the job" access.
"The support given to Xybernaut by the Commonwealth and especially Governor Allen has greatly aided the rapid consummation of both manufacturing and software capabilities that we believe will allow Xybernaut and its 'see-and-speak' technology to dominate the computer marketplace," said Dr. Steven A. Newman, Co-Chairman, Xybernaut Corporation.
Last month, Xybernaut reached an agreement with Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG under which Siemens Nixdorf will become Xybernaut's manufacturing partner in Germany for the wearable computer product.
SBS Software Center was established by Mercedes Benz, Hewlett-Packard and IBM to foster the growth of small and medium-sized software design companies. In turn, these and other major businesses including Porsche, BMW and others utilize the technology and services of SBS to develop their own products.
Germany is Virginia's fifth largest export destination with $672 million in exports during 1996 including: miscellaneous manufactured goods ($198 million), fabricated metal products ($109 million), machinery ($80.5 million) and transportation equipment ($59 million). Through 1996, cumulative German investment in Virginia has totaled $2 billion, representing 121 enterprises and 10,025 jobs. Germany claims 22% of Virginia's $8.7 billion total foreign investments.
During the Allen administration, the largest German announcements included White Oak Semiconductor, a new $1.5 billion semiconductor plant in Henrico County (1996); Von Holtzbrink Publishing, a new $27 million textbook publishing operation in Orange County (1996); Muhlbauer, Inc., a new $20 million semiconductor and smartcard plant in Newport News (1995); and Stihl, Inc., a $20 million chain saw plant expansion in Virginia Beach (1995).
Governor Allen and First Lady Susan Allen are leading a 15-day trade and investment mission to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. More than 40 Virginia business leaders are participating as delegation members in all or part of the European mission.
The Governor has established four major goals for the mission: 1) Seek additional foreign investment in Virginia; 2) Provide an increased understanding of European business markets and expanded trade to Virginia business executives; 3) Promote shipping through Virginia ports; and 4) Market Virginia as an inviting destination for tourists.
Since 1994, Governor Allen and First Lady Susan Allen have led business delegations on six major trade missions to Canada, Mexico, Europe, East Asia and the Middle East which produced more than $112 million in new investments and over $64 million in sales of Virginia products and services. The Governor and First Lady will hold business and tourism meetings in Germany through Friday June 20, 1997 before leaving for Copenhagen, Denmark.
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