Innovate Here

You're looking for a place to springboard your organization's talent and ideas into the marketplace, and you need research and development resources close at hand.

You need a workforce prepared for the next stages of the roadmap, and it would be great if they're familiar with the territory.

You need a community of trailblazers with valuable insights in an atmosphere of collegial input.

It's all here.

The Epicenter of Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Since the 1980s, Northern Virginia has developed into a world center for cloud computing, web services, internet applications, and more. The proximity of the Mason Square to Amazon HQ2, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, and downtown Washington, D.C., allows us to amplify existing innovation in the region. As the region’s preeminent institution of higher education, Mason is ideally suited to convene all the key actors in the innovation and entrepreneurship cycle, from researchers to entrepreneurs to investors and more.


We are giving tech companies access to:

  • State of the art research and development platforms
  • Tech talent development and curation
  • New venture studios, incubators, and accelerators
  • Co-working facilities
  • Corporate innovation centers
  • Angel and VC investors
  • Community centered convening and collaboration spaces

Build the Workforce

George Mason University confers more computer science degrees than any other institution in Virginia. We have committed ourselves to producing 7,500 additional graduates in these fields by 2039. To accomplish this, we are expanding our academic programs, faculty hiring, and student enrollment. We're also re-imagining pathways to tech workforce development by providing collaborative research-learning environments with industry-leading organizations.

Grow New Ideas

Arlington has been repeatedly named the "Top Digital County in America" for counties its size. Mason is both the most innovative and most diverse university in Virginia, according to U.S. News & World Report. The combination of these two powerhouses seems only natural, creating an environment in which new ideas are born, develop, and flourish. Maybe that's why Mason has become home to research centers from a variety of fields, including policy, technology, innovation, and security.

Research Spotlight: Louise Shelley

Headshot of Louise Shelley

Louise Shelley is the founder and director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University and a professor in the Schar School of Public Policy and Government. The Institute for Digital InnovAtion talked with Shelley about the work being done at TraCCC.

Involve the Community

Mason is fueled by diverse perspectives. We’ve made a name for ourselves by engaging community stakeholders in active dialogue, in our activities, and in our direction. Now, at Mason Square, we are building a forum to shape the future of our digital society, promoting equality, wellbeing, security and prosperity, and the community is invited.




Mason's Digital Innovation Initiative


George Mason University and the Institute for Digital Innovation (IDIA) are working together to:

  • Build a cross-disciplinary research space that inspires innovation and impact
  • Integrate public and private learning, prioritizing student success
  • Leverage state-of-the-art strategies for environmental responsibility, well-being, and resilience
  • Create a bold and inclusive environment for students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other community members throughout the region


As part of the Digital Innovation Initiative, Mason is dedicated to doubling enrollment up to 15,000 computer science students, hiring hundreds of new faculty members, and spending $250m on campus expansion at Mason Square.

The Team Fueling the Effort

The Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) is the driving force behind Mason’s vision for Arlington’s future.

IDIA will support partnerships with academic, business, and community stakeholders across all three Mason campuses, structure cross-curricular collaborations on research and technology development, and guide participation by faculty, staff, and students.

Bringing the Vision to Reality


To build the future, you need a space equipped to handle the future. Mason's work on Fuse is creating a space prepared not just for the needs of the current market, but for the needs of the future.

An experience and integrated design that accelerates innovation through a platform of collision and curated programming in the DC Metro’s burgeoning tech district.

The Fuse Building

The new centerpiece of campus, the Fuse building, from Mason Innovation Partners, will incorporate advanced cyber-infrastructure and design to support digital innovation, active learning, cutting-edge research and tech incubators. The building also will feature spaces to support public programming for the Arlington community, ground-floor retail, a below-grade parking garage and a public plaza. Commercial tenants and industry collaborators will benefit from proximity to Mason students and faculty, high-tech talent, and collision space.

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. 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.

We are already delivering groundbreaking research in areas such as:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Health information systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Analytics and big data
  • Additive manufacturing
  • 5G and 6G networks and telecommunications