George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Mason seeks development partner to build Institute for Digital InnovAtion

February 4, 2020

The project will transform Mason's Arlington Campus and accelerate innovation in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

George Mason University, Virginia’s largest and most diverse public research university, is taking the next major step toward transforming its Arlington Campus by seeking a development partner to design, construct and operate its Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA).

Over the next five years, Mason’s Arlington Campus will undergo a $250 million transformation, which will serve as a critical catalyst in the further activation of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, a dynamic and growing innovation district with a thriving high-tech ecosystem. Funded in part by the Commonwealth’s Tech Talent Investment Program, expansion of the Arlington campus reflects Mason’s standing as the largest producer of tech talent in the state.

“The Institute for Digital InnovAtion will anchor the Rosslyn-Ballston innovation corridor and serve as an engine of research, economic growth, job creation and new tax revenue,” George Mason University President Anne Holton said. “Private, non-profit and public sector partners will be embedded in the innovation district with hundreds of faculty innovators, and thousands of graduate students in tech programs. This confluence of expertise and perspectives will propel the region’s innovation economy in the coming decades.”

The Mason IDIA will be comprised of approximately 400,000 square feet of new building space adjacent to Mason’s existing presence in Virginia Square. It will incorporate advanced cyber infrastructure and green technologies and support a mix of state-of-the-art tech-based research and related education programs, corporate innovation labs, co-working and innovation programs for high-growth ventures, collaboration and convening spaces to support public programming for the Arlington community, ground-floor retail, a below-grade parking garage and a public plaza.

“This will be a game-changer for Mason faculty, staff and students and for our academic, corporate, and community partners,” said Deborah Crawford, Mason’s vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. “We envision IDIA as a place where discovery, innovation and learning flourish as individuals, organizations and communities work together to develop, deploy and study the utilization of technologies and systems that advance a more just, prosperous and sustainable world.”

Deadline for submission of conceptual RFPs is 2 p.m., March 31, 2020. The deadline for questions concerning the conceptual RFP is March 3, and the pre-submittal meeting is Feb. 25.

Mason anticipates the conceptual RFP process will conclude in May 2020, after which the university will select a short list of development teams to enter the second stage of the process. The IDIA building is scheduled to open in September 2025.

The RFP can be found here.

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