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Our Vision

Cranes and buildings show progress toward our vision for Mason Square

The Arlington Innovation Initiative

An expansive and transformative undertaking of programming, placemaking, and partnership that will form the necessary linkages of a thriving innovation ecosystem.

Northern Virginia’s Proving Ground for the Future

Arlington is emerging as an innovation powerhouse on the world stage. George Mason University’s Arlington innovation initiative will serve as the engine. It’s where tomorrow’s diverse tech workforce will develop the cross-disciplinary skills and community fluency needed to rise to next-level challenges.

A Mason student adjusts a robotic arm in the Institute for Digiotal InnovAtion Pilot Space

Workforce Development

George Mason University, already the most prolific conferrer of computer science degrees in Virginia, has committed to producing 7,500 additional graduates in these fields through 2039. Our initiative will expand academic programs, faculty hiring, and student enrollment.

Collaborative Research

Real innovation often occurs by crossing traditional boundaries of academic disciplines. Our initiative will enable true cross-functional collaboration by engaging students and faculty from policy, law, business, engineering, and more in multimodal lab settings.

Campus Expansion

The Digital Innovation Headquarters will introduce more than 360,000 square feet of office, lab, and retail space designed explicitly to foster innovation. Our placemaking initiative for the Mason Square campus in Arlington empowers collaboration among Mason’s schools of engineering, computing, law, business, public policy, and conflict resolution.

Community Involvement

Truly sustainable innovation must be fueled by diverse perspectives, equitable practices, and community needs. Our initiative actively engages community stakeholders from Arlington and the region with a planned cadence for open dialogue about our activity and direction.

Fuse at Mason Square

More than just a fancy new building. Fuse at Mason Square is designed to be a lightning rod for new ideas.

rendering of people walking in the new Fuse at Mason Square

How 360,000 square feet will become a hive of activity:

  • 225,000 square feet for Mason-led innovation programming and community engagement
  • 120,000 for innovation labs, offices, and developer and partner programming
  • 15,000 square feet retail amenities
Fuse at Mason Square is designed to enable cross-functional collaboration by students, faculty, tenants, and community members
Mason Square is designed to enable cross-functional collaboration by students, faculty, tenants, and community members

How we’re building to empower innovation

  • ORANGE: Open innovation “mixing bowls” where faculty, students, community members, and tenant partners commingle
  • BLUE: Digital-enabled tenant space for business partners with views of Arlington’s dynamic commercial corridor 
  • GREEN: Mason offices, digitally-enabled classrooms, and multimodal lab and incubator spaces 
  • PINK: Public amenities such as retail and parking for easy-access collaboration

Be where the action is

  • Collaborate across the stakeholder universe with student, faculty, corporate partner, and community-based programming
  • Expand outreach and recruitment efforts with ground-level retail, parking, and pedestrian access
  • Draw from diverse expertise with an open campus innovation ecosystem infrastructure that taps into Mason resources across campus

Our Working Proof of Concept: The Digital Innovation Pilot Space

Don’t wait to get involved. George Mason’s Institute for Digital InnovAtion is up and running with a cross-functional pilot space that’s already pushing the boundaries of next-gen tech. Autonomous vehicle research. Cybersecurity and systems design. Applications built on a 5G mobile testing bed. Lessons learned from pilot activity will be folded into methodologies and programming throughout the larger Mason Square development. Want to get in on the ground floor? It’s happening at Vernon Smith Hall right now.

Modular equipment designed by Mason collaborators in the pilot space to test additive manufacturing methodologies.

I’ve enjoyed working with the Mason team because they are fearless in their ambition to look at what could be and what we can create.

George Mason innovation partner Carolyn Parent, Entrepreneur in Residence for HearstLab
Help Us Drive Innovation in Arlington